Asians who immigrated to US before age 25 have poorer mental health than older immigrants

Jul 14, 2008

Asian-American immigrants who came to the United States before they were 25 years old have poorer mental health than their compatriots who came to this country when they were 25 or older, according to data from the first national mental health survey of Asian-Americans.

The study is noteworthy because it shows that using traditional measures of socio-economic status – number of years of school and household income – to predict health outcomes is not accurate for individuals who immigrate when they are children or young adults, according to Janxin Leu, a University of Washington assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study.

Immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before they were 25 attained higher levels of education and income than did older immigrants. However, 13 percent of the younger immigrants reported symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder in the previous 12 months compared to 9 percent of the over-25 group.

Source: University of Washington

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