Self-reported discrimination and depressive symptoms among older Chinese adults in Chicago

Lydia W. Li, Xin Qi Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Discrimination is part of life for many Americans, especially ethnic minorities. Focusing on older Chinese Americans, this study examines the association between self-reported discrimination and depressive symptoms and identifies subgroups that are more likely to report experiencing discrimination. Methods: We conducted cross-sectional analysis of data collected from adults (age 60+ years) of Chinese origin residing in the Greater Chicago area (N = 3,004). Self-reported discrimination was assessed by the Experiences of Discrimination instrument and was dichotomized (yes vs no). Depressive symptoms were measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Logistic regression of self-reported discrimination and negative binominal regression of depressive symptoms were conducted. Results: About 21.5% of the sample reported having experienced discrimination. The odds of reporting discrimination are higher for those who are younger, have higher education and income, are more acculturated, have been in the United States longer, live outside Chinatown, and have higher levels of neuroticism and conscientiousness. Self-reported discrimination is significantly and positively associated with depressive symptoms, independent of sociodemographic characteristics, migration-related variables, and personality factors. Conclusion: Findings suggest a robust relationship between self-reported discrimination and depressive symptoms in older Chinese Americans. They further suggest that the relatively advantaged groups—younger, higher socioeconomic status, more acculturated, and living outside Chinatown—are more likely to report experiencing discrimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S119-S124
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume72
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Chinese Americans
  • Mental health
  • Personality
  • Racial discrimination

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