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Racial Discrimination and Health Among Asian Americans: Evidence, Assessment, and Directions for Future Research

Racial Discrimination and Health Among Asian Americans: Evidence, Assessment, and Directions for Future Research

Abstract

Abstract Research shows that racial discrimination is related to illness among diverse racial and ethnic populations. Studies of racial discrimination and health among Asian Americans, however, remain underdeveloped. In this paper, the authors review evidence on racial discrimination and health among Asian Americans, identify gaps in the literature, and provide suggestions for future research. They identified 62 empirical articles assessing the relation between discrimination and health among Asian Americans. The majority of articles focused on mental health problems, followed by physical and behavioral problems. Most studies find that discrimination was associated with poorer health, although the most consistent findings were for mental health problems. This review suggests that future studies should continue to investigate the following: 1) the measurement of discrimination among Asian Americans, whose experiences may be qualitatively different from those of other racial minority groups; 2) the heterogeneity among Asian Americans, including those factors that are particularly salient in this population, such as ethnic ancestry and immigration history; and 3) the health implications of discrimination at multiple ecologic levels, ranging from the individual level to the structural level.
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