Acculturative heterogeneity among Asian/Pacific islanders in the United States: Associations with DSM mental and substance use disorders

Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Sharon Lee, Michael G. Vaughn, Yuri Jang, Cindy C. Sanglang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Extant studies on the links between acculturation and mental and substance use disorders among Asian/Pacific Islanders have been based on the assumption that acculturation is a homogeneous construct. However, emerging evidence suggests that the various components of acculturation do not manifest independently, but rather cluster in ways that reflect distinct profiles. We employ data on Asian/Pacific Islanders from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (n=968). Latent profile analysis is used to identify acculturation subgroups on the basis of indicator variables related to cultural identification, language ability and preference, and social engagement. Subsequently, the distribution of outcome variables in the domains of DSM disorders (lifetime history of clinical, personality, and substance use disorders) is examined across latent subgroups. We identified a 5-class solution: Class 1: Separated (12.91%), Class 2: Partial Bilingual/Bicultural (30.06%), Class 3: English Dominant/Asian Oriented (12.29%), Class 4: Full Bilingual/Bicultural (19.42%) and Class 5: Assimilated (25.31%). The highest rates of clinical disorders were observed among members of the 2 classes characterized by a strong preference for the use of the English language (Classes 3 and 5). The highest prevalence of nicotine (12%) and illicit drug use (15%) disorders was observed among members of the Assimilated class. Consistent with prior research, findings suggest that risk of morbidity is greater among more acculturated individuals; however, findings also suggest that an important level of nuance can be observed with respect to acculturative subtypes identified on the basis of cultural identification, language ability and preference, and social engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-370
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Volume85
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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