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Worse Mental Health Among More-Acculturated and Younger Immigrants Experiencing Discrimination: California Health Interview Survey, 2015–2016 (Journal of General Internal Medicine)

Publication Topics

California Health Interview Survey; 2015 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2015); 2016 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2016); Access to Health Care; Barriers to/Disparities in Health Care; Mental and Emotional Health; Immigrant

Publication Type

CHIS Journal Article

Publication Date


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<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('http:\u002f\\u002f_layouts\u002flistform.aspx?PageType=4\u0026ListId={7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}\u0026ID=1656\u0026RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href=";ListId={7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&amp;ID=1656&amp;RootFolder=*">Altaf Saadi</a>

Author 2

<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('http:\u002f\\u002f_layouts\u002flistform.aspx?PageType=4\u0026ListId={7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}\u0026ID=243\u0026RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href=";ListId={7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&amp;ID=243&amp;RootFolder=*">Ninez A. Ponce, PhD, MPP</a>

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Authors examined the relationship between discrimination and mental illness across racial/ethnic groups, and pathways by which acculturation — the process by which immigrants acquire the beliefs and practices of a host culture — and age relate to the discrimination-mental health relationship. The main measures were the Kessler 6-item Psychological Distress Scale (K6) assessed symptoms of psychological distress, with K6 score ≥ 13 associated with severe mental illness. Discrimination was measured using a self-reported measure of lifetime experience of unfair treatment in getting medical care and a 5-point acculturation index (constructed by measures of nativity, years living in the USA, and home language use). Secondary data analysis used population data from the 2015–2016 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).

The authors found:

  • There were independent effects on mental illness associated with increased discrimination and increased acculturation, including when stratified across racial/ethnic groups.
  • Higher levels of acculturation led to a significant increase in discrimination’s association with mental illness.
  • There was a higher probability of mental illness in younger age groups than in older age groups.

Authors concluded that while discrimination is associated with poor mental health, a stronger link between discrimination and mental illness exists among younger immigrants and immigrants with increased acculturation.


Article 1

Journal Article: Worse Mental Health Among More-Acculturated and Younger Immigrants Experiencing Discrimination: California Health Interview Survey, 2015–2016

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Press Release

Related Link 1

California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)

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Created at 11/10/2019 3:20 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste
Last modified at 11/10/2019 3:34 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste