Racial/Ethnic Differences in Emotional Health: A Longitudinal Study of Immigrants’ Adolescent Children

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First, discrimination was conceptualized as a major source of stress for immigrants’ adolescent children. Next, such children’s emotional health (indicated by measures of self-esteem and depression) was examined for possible associations with discrimination, psychosocial supports, and social structure; additionally, race/ethnicity’s possible moderating role in such associations was evaluated. Data from the first 2 waves of the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (1991–2006) were employed, focusing on 3 groups: Asians, Hispanics, and Whites. Linear regression analyses were used to weigh how discrimination, psychosocial supports, and social structure measured at Wave 1 and Wave 2 related to self-esteem and depression measured at Wave 2. Asians exhibited the highest level of depression and were most likely to perceive discrimination; Asians’ self-esteem was also low, compared to other groups’. Discrimination and psychosocial supports appeared to operate differentially in explaining the 3 groups’ emotional health.



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