Discrimination, Family Relationships, and Major Depression Among Asian Americans
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Depression represents a growing concern among Asian Americans. This study examined whether discrimination and family dynamics are associated with depression in this population. Weighted logistic regressions using nationally representative data on Asian American adults (N = 2095) were used to examine associations between discrimination, negative interactions with relatives, family support, and 12-month major depressive disorder (MDD). Discrimination (odds ratio [OR] = 2.13, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.67, 2.71) and negative interactions with relatives (OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.03, 1.58) were positively associated with MDD. Family support was associated with lower MDD (OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.59, 0.89), and buffered lower levels of discrimination. Results suggest that discrimination may have negative mental health implications, and also point to the importance of family relationships for depression among Asian Americans. Findings suggest that providers may consider stress experienced at multiple ecological levels to address Asian American mental health needs.
KeywordsAsian Americans Major depressive disorder Discrimination Family relationships
The National Latino and Asian American Study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH U01 MH62209 and U01 MH62207) with additional support from the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
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