Bi-racial Asian Americans more likely to suffer pyshological disorder

August 18th, 2008 - 4:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 18 (IANS) Bi-racial Asian Americans are twice as likely as their monoracial counterparts to suffer from psychological disorder, according to a study. “Up to 2.4 percent of US population self-identifies as mixed race, and most of these individuals describe themselves as bi-racial,” said Nolan Zane, a professor of psychology and Asian American studies at University of California (UC) Davis.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of understanding the social, psychological and experiential differences that may increase the likelihood of psychological disorders among this fast-growing segment of the population.”

Zane and his co-investigator, psychology graduate Lauren Berger, found that 34 percent of bi-racial individuals in a national survey had been diagnosed with a psychological disorder, such as anxiety, depression or substance abuse, versus 17 percent of mono-racial individuals.

The higher rate held up even after the researchers controlled for differences between the groups in age, gender and life stress, among other factors.

The study relied on information from 125 Asian Americans that included 55 Filipino-Caucasians, 33 Chinese-Caucasians, 23 Japanese-Caucasians and 14 Vietnamese-Caucasians.

The information was obtained from the 2002-2003 National Latino and Asian American Study, the largest nationally representative survey ever conducted of Asian Americans.

Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the landmark survey involved in-person interviews with more than 2,000 Asian Americans nationwide. The survey yielded a wealth of raw data for researchers to analyze for insights into Asian American mental health.

This study was presented on Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Boston.

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