“You’re Tearing Me Apart!” Racial/Ethnic Discrimination, Bicultural Identity, and Mental Health

Aleksandr A. Tikhonov, Adriana Espinosa, Que Lam Huynh, Lori Hoggard, Deidre M. Anglin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing from the rejection-identification and rejection-disidentification models (RIM/RDIM), we proposed a model of the association between racial/ethnic discrimination and symptoms of depression and anxiety among racially/ethnically minoritized immigrant individuals. We hypothesized that this relation would be sequentially mediated by discordance in ethnic and national cultural identities and bicultural identity conflict. First- and second-generation racially/ethnically minoritized immigrant college students in the United States (N = 877) completed a battery of self-report measures. We tested two models, one each for depression and anxiety symptoms. Racial/ethnic discrimination was positively associated with discordance in ethnic and national identity, which was positively associated with bicultural identity conflict. These were in turn, positively related to depression and anxiety symptoms. Immigrant individuals who experience racial/ethnic discrimination may perceive higher conflict between their ethnic and national identities. This conflict can in turn be associated with poor mental health. Clinicians should address cultural identity processes when working with racial/ethnic minoritized immigrant clients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-967
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Bicultural identity
  • Ethnic identity
  • Mental health
  • National identity
  • Racial/ethnic discrimination


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