Master's Theses

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

Keywords

Perceived Discrimination, Immigrants, Depression

Abstract

"Research has found that foreign born immigrants' have better mental and physical health, as well as higher levels of academic achievement, than native born individuals from immigrant families (Vega, et. al., 2004). There is some evidence that perceived discrimination could be a possible explanation for these nativity differences (Juang & Cookston, 2009). The current study tested the hypothesis that native born individuals from immigrant backgrounds will have higher levels of depression than their foreign born counterparts and that native born respondents will report higher levels of perceived discrimination than foreign born. The study also tested whether perceived discrimination mediates the relationship between nativity status and depression. Method: A survey was conducted which measured depression using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Perceived discrimination was measured using the scale used in the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) for perceived discrimination. Data from 353 respondents were collected from classes in Psychology at City College. Results. Results showed that native born respondents reported significantly higher levels of perceived discrimination than foreign born. Among Latinos, native born respondents reported significantly higher levels of depression than those who were foreign born. Perceived discrimination did not mediate the relationship between nativity status and depression. However, in an exploratory post-hoc analysis, perceived discrimination was found to moderate the relationship between nativity status and depression in the Asian subgroup. Discussion. It is clear that perceived discrimination is an important factor in mental health of native born individuals. Future studies should investigate the role that perceived discrimination plays with nativity status in more depth."

 
 

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