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Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(2), 56; doi:10.3390/socsci6020056

Depression Risks and Correlates among Different Generations of Chinese Americans: The Effects of Relationships with Friends and Relatives

Center for Asian Health, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA
Academic Editor: Brea L. Perry
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 21 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Networks and Mental Health)
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Abstract

An increasing body of literature has suggested that the public portrayal of Chinese Americans as a high-achieving, well-adjusting “model minority” might not reflect the entire reality of their mental health conditions. This study examined depression risks and correlates among different generations of Chinese Americans, using non-Hispanic whites as a comparison group. A nationally representative sample of Chinese Americans (n = 600) from the Comprehensive Psychiatric Epidemiological Survey was used. Results of the study indicate that Chinese Americans in general have a lower risk of depression than non-Hispanic whites. Moreover, the prevalence and correlates of depression do not show a linear trend of difference from first to second to third-or-higher generation Chinese Americans, and then to non-Hispanic whites; rather, the risk of depression and its association with social relational factors presents in distinctive patterns for first and second generation Chinese Americans, compared to third-or-higher generation Chinese Americans and non-Hispanic whites. Specifically, friend network and relative group play different roles in influencing depression for different generations of Chinese Americans. The findings contributed to the growing body of literature on acculturation and mental health among immigrants, shedding lights on the complicated sociocultural contexts that could influence the mental well-being of individuals. Mental health service providers need to be aware of the complex and nuanced association between social relational factors and depression in their prevention, management, and treatment efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: depression; social network; Chinese Americans; social support; social conflict; generational status depression; social network; Chinese Americans; social support; social conflict; generational status
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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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Zhu, L. Depression Risks and Correlates among Different Generations of Chinese Americans: The Effects of Relationships with Friends and Relatives. Soc. Sci. 2017, 6, 56.

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