Title

The physical and mental health effects of age of immigration, age, and perceived difference in social status among first generation Asian Americans

Disciplines

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

The effects of age of immigration, age, and perceived difference in social status on self-reported physical and mental health was examined among a nationally represen- tative sample of first-generation Asian American adults (N 􏰁 1639) from the National Latino and Asian American Study conducted in 2002 and 2003. This study examined (a) the joint effect of age and age of immigration on health, and (b) how perceived difference in social status might affect the above relationship. For the full sample, age of immigration and age jointly affected physical health such that older individuals who immigrated later in life showed the worst outcomes. No effects were observed for mental health. When the sample was separated by those who perceived a positive difference in social status versus those who perceived a negative difference in social status, only those who perceived a negative difference in social status were observed to have a joint effect of age of immigration and age on health. Similar to the full sample results, older individuals who immigrated later in life displayed poor physical health outcomes, but surprisingly, they also showed positive mental health outcomes.