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Dissertation

The physical and mental health of Asian American youth: The roles of parental connectedness and parental stress

20 July 2012

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the physical and mental health of Asian American youth, and the effects of parental connectedness and parental stress on physical and mental health. This study will review empirical and theoretical literature on the physical and mental health of Asian American youth, and the effects of parental connectedness and parental stress on both physical and mental health outcomes of Asian American youth.

Participants included 6.764 youth ages birth to 17 years whose adult respondents identified them as Caucasian (n = 5,966) or Asian ( n = 798) and were living in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, or Washington. The results of the study indicated that parents of Asian American youth in this study reported less physical and mental health problems of their children than their Caucasian counterparts. Further, foreign-born, Asian American youth had less physical health problems than U.S.-born, Asian American youth per parental report. In contrast, mental health problems were not related to nativity/immigration status. Parents of youth whom reported higher levels of parental stress were twice as likely to have youth with physical problems. Possible explanations of why Asian American youth in this study reported less physical and mental health problems are discussed, and suggestions for future studies are offered.


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