The relationship between human agency and health is an important yet under-researched topic. This study uses a life course perspective to examine how human agency (measured by voluntariness, migratory reasons, and planning) and timing (measured by age at immigration) affect mental health outcomes among Asian immigrants in the United States. Data from the National Latino and Asian American Study showed that Asian immigrants (n=1491) with multiple strong reasons to migrate were less likely to suffer from mental health problems (i.e., psychological distress and psychiatric disorders in the past 12 months) than those without clear goals. Moreover, Asian immigrants with adequate migratory planning had lower levels of distress and lower rates of 12-month psychiatric disorders than those with poorly planned migration. Compared with migrants of the youngest age category (six or younger), those who migrated during preteen and adolescent years without clear goals had higher levels of psychological distress, and those who migrated during adulthood (25 years or older) were less likely to suffer from recent depressive disorders (with the exception of those migrating for life-improving goals). Furthermore, we found that well-planned migration lowered acculturative stress, and multiple strong reasons for migration buffered the negative effect of acculturative stress upon mental health. Findings from this study advance research on immigrant health from the life course perspective by highlighting the effects of exercising human agency during the pre-migration stage upon post-migration mental health.
"In a study conducted on HIV-infected immigrant populations from Western European countries, it was shown that as HIV stigma and depressive symptoms were reduced, ART adherence and virological response were improved (Sumari-de Boer, Sprangers, Prins, & Nieuwkerk, 2012). Many API immigrants suffer from mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety (Gong, Xu, Fujishiro, & Takeuchi, 2011). However, there is limited research on this subset of this group as well (Chin, Li, Kang, Behar, & Chen, 2011; Chng, Wong, Park, Edberg, & Lai, 2003). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asians and Pacific Islanders (API) are among the fastest growing minority groups within the USA, and this growth has been accompanied by an increase in HIV incidence. Between 2000 and 2010, the API HIV infection rate increased from 4.5% to 8.7%; however, there is a paucity of HIV-related research for this group, and even less is known about the prevalence and correlates of antiretroviral therapy adherence behavior, quality of life, impact of stress, and efficacious self-management among HIV+ API Americans. This paper examines how acculturation and perceived stress affect depression symptomatology and treatment seeking in the HIV+ API population. A series of cross-sectional audio computer-assisted self-interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 50 HIV+ API (29 in San Francisco and 21 in New York City). The relationship between acculturation and perceived stress was analyzed, and the results indicate that for those HIV+ API who reported low or moderate acculturation (as compared to those who reported high acculturation), stress was significantly mediated by depression symptomology. Interventions to address acculturation and reduce perceived stress among API generally and Asians specifically are therefore needed.
AIDS Care 07/2014; 26(12):1-5. DOI:10.1080/09540121.2014.936816 · 1.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this review is to examine whether immigrant workers have a higher occupational injury rate than native employees. We collected 72 studies from around the world. A calculation based on 31 of these studies shows that the risk of occupational injury for foreign-born workers is 2.13 times higher than that of native-born workers. In seven studies immigrants actually had a lower occupational injury rate. At highest, immigrant workers had ten times the injury rate of native workers, whereas in one USA study the occupational injury rate of immigrant workers was only half of that of American-born workers. However, three studies consistently showed that immigrant workers had a higher injury rate than the original population during their first five years at the workplace, but that after five years their rate decreased to below the level of native workers. The conclusion of this study is that immigrant workers have a worse work conditions than native workers.
The Ergonomics Open Journal 12/2011; 4(1). DOI:10.2174/1875934301104010125
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Scholarship on immigrant health has steadily increased over the past two decades. This line of inquiry is often approached as a "specialty" topic involving a discrete de-contextualized population, rather than a topic that is central for understanding patterns of population health within and between sending and receiving countries. Frequently immigrant health research employs theoretical frameworks (e.g., acculturation) that emphasize cultural explanations, while less commonly utilized is the "social determinants of health" framework, which emphasizes social and structural explanations. Drawing upon literature in the fields of economics, sociology of immigration, and social epidemiology, we present a conceptual framework for understanding immigrant health from a cross-national perspective. We discuss the theoretical foundations of this framework; the methodological challenges for undertaking research on immigration and health using this framework; examples of emerging research in this area; and directions for future research. Progress in immigrant health research and population health improvements can be achieved through an enhanced understanding of population health patterns in sending and receiving societies. Immigrant health research needs to be better integrated into social epidemiology. Concurrently, immigrant health research offers conceptual, empirical, and analytic opportunities to advance social epidemiological research. Together, scholarship in immigrant health and social epidemiology can make significant contributions toward one of their mutual and ultimate goals: to improve knowledge about population health.
Social Science [?] Medicine 05/2012; 75(12). DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.04.040 · 2.89 Impact Factor
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