Immigration-related stressors and mental health problems among Asian-American Immigrants

Sizhe Liu, Wei Zhang


Focusing on Asian-American immigrants in the National Latino and Asian American Study, this work examines (1) whether immigration-related stressors are associated with 12-month depressive disorder and suicidal ideation, and (2) how individual religious involvement moderates the associations. Findings from regression analyses reveal that limited English proficiency increases the risk of both 12-month depressive disorder and suicidal ideation. No significant differences in 12-month depressive disorder and suicidal ideation are found by age at immigration. Most importantly, religious coping — frequently seeking comfort from religion — buffers the negative effects of limited English proficiency on suicidal ideation. Our findings suggest the importance of individual religious involvement in helping Asian-American immigrants cope with stress associated with immigration. Mental health professionals may need to integrate religious coping mechanisms into the clinical setting to offer more effective treatments that are sensitive to individuals’ religious and spiritual needs.


immigration-related stressors; religious involvement; suicidal ideation; depressive disorder; Asian American immigrants

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