Factors affecting psychological distress among Asian American and non-Hispanic White older adults

Min-So Paek1, Suhyeon Seo1, David Choi2
1Department of Social Welfare, Konkuk University, Republic of Korea
2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, United States
Cite this article:  Paek, M. , Seo, S. , & Choi, D. (2019). Factors affecting psychological distress among Asian American and non-Hispanic White older adults. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 47, e8315.

Volume 47 Issue 8 | e8315 | Published: August 2019 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.8315

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We examined factors affecting psychological distress in non-Hispanic White (n = 9,170) and Asian American (n = 1,417) older adults, using 2015–2016 California Health Interview Survey data. Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that disability, poor/fair health, and neighborhood environmental factors, such as unsafe neighborhoods and low social cohesion, were significantly associated with psychological distress in both ethnic groups. People aged between 65 and 69 years, women, nonhomeowners, and those living at less than 200% of the federal poverty level had increased odds of psychological distress among the non-Hispanic Whites. For Asian Americans, physical inactivity was associated with an increased rate of psychological distress. These findings indicate that multiple risk factors increase the probability of psychological distress in older adults. Further, important similarities and differences exist between older Asian Americans and non-Hispanic Whites, which have implications in screening and development of interventions for these ethnic groups.

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