A daily diary study of mental health and community involvement outcomes for three Chinese American social identities

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daily diary • social identity • Chinese adolescents • mental health • community involvement


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Approximately 100 American youths of Chinese descent participated in a 14-day diary study, completing daily reports on ethnic feelings, American feelings, ethnic community involvement, and psychological well-being. Participants were divided into 4 identity orientations (Chinese, American, bicultural, or other) and then assessed for differential patterns of mental health and community involvement. Chinese-centered identities were characterized by positive well-being and positive self-esteem. However, the American-centered and bicultural groups had well-being and self-esteem levels equal to that of the Chinese-centered group. Although the measures of mental health failed to differentiate the identity categories, both the Chinese- and bicultural-centered groups showed high involvement in Chinese culture, whereas American-centered participants were significantly less involved.

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