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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 27; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010027

Depression, a Hidden Mental Health Disparity in an Asian Indian Immigrant Community

School of Nursing, Loma Linda University, 11262 Campus Street West Hall #1327, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA
School of Behavioral Health, Division of Interdisciplinary Studies, Loma Linda University, 11065 Campus Street, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mark Edberg, Barbara E. Hayes, Valerie Montgomery Rice and Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 17 August 2015 / Revised: 26 September 2015 / Accepted: 12 October 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [231 KB, uploaded 27 January 2016]


Cultural influences are deeply rooted, and continue to affect the lives of Asian-Indian (AI) immigrants living in Western culture. Emerging literature suggests the powerful nature of traditions and culture on the lives, mental and physical health of AI immigrants, particularly women. The purpose of this study was to explore depression among AI women in Central California (CC). This mixed-methods research was conducted in collaboration with the CC Punjabi community and the support of local religious leaders. All interviews were conducted in Punjabi and English. Whenever possible we utilized validated scales aligned with emerging themes from the qualitative data, which also provided contextualization to survey responses. In all we conducted 11 key informant interviews, four focus groups (n = 47) and a rigorously developed anonymous survey (n = 350). Social dynamics and traditional expectations including gendered roles significantly affected mental health among women participants. Subgroups along the lines of language choice (Punjabi vs. English) experience and report depression differently in part due to the highly stigmatized nature of mental health issues in this model minority community. The findings of this study highlight the importance of utilizing mixed methods to access hard to reach populations regarding sensitive topics such as mental health. View Full-Text
Keywords: Asian-Indian; immigrants; gender; mental health; acculturation; Punjabi Sikhs Asian-Indian; immigrants; gender; mental health; acculturation; Punjabi Sikhs
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Roberts, L.R.; Mann, S.K.; Montgomery, S.B. Depression, a Hidden Mental Health Disparity in an Asian Indian Immigrant Community. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 27.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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