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Life Satisfaction and Social and Emotional Support Among Asian American Older Adults (Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine)

December 1, 2021

CHIS Journal Article

Authors: Riti Shimkhada, PhD, Hin Wing Tse, Ninez A. Ponce, PhD, MPP

Summary: Little data exists on the well-being of older adults from Asian American (AA) communities. Two well-being metrics — receiving needed social and emotional support and current life satisfaction — may help gauge levels of mental health among AA older adults. Using data from the 2018 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), authors examined two well-being metrics — receiving needed social and emotional support and current life satisfaction — among AAs and AA subgroups (Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, Chinese) ages 65 years and older. 

Findings: AA older adults reported lower life satisfaction and not having needed social and emotional support compared to all other races and ethnicities. Current life satisfaction among AA older adults was 54% compared to 80% for all other race/ethnicities. Also, 56% of AA older adults reported usually or always receiving social/emotional compared to 80% for all other race/ethnicities. Within the AA category, life satisfaction was 40% for Korean, 48% for Chinese, 47% for Vietnamese, and 77% for Filipino older adults. Among Korean older adults, 30% reported receiving needed social/emotional support, 57% among Chinese, 59% among Filipino, and 65% among Vietnamese older adults.

Authors conclude AA older adults report lower life satisfaction and not receiving social and emotional support compared to all other race/ethnicities. Among AAs, Korean older adults were most likely to report poorer well-being using these metrics.

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