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Familial Support and Mental Health Service Use: Differences among First- and Second-generation Asian American and Latinx Older Adults

Underserved and Socially Disadvantaged Groups and Linkages with Health and Health Care Differentials

ISBN: 978-1-83867-055-9, eISBN: 978-1-83867-054-2

ISSN: 0275-4959

Publication date: 30 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing from theories of modernization and socioemotional selectivity, this study investigates the effect of familial support on the relationship between immigrant generation and mental health service use for Asian American and Latinx older adults.

Methodology/Approach

Using the data from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) 2002–2003, nested logistic regressions (N = 810) were used to test the effects of familial support (parent–child relationship quality) on the relationship between immigrant generation and the use of mental health services. Differences in familial support between older adults and their younger counterparts were also accounted for.

Findings

The results indicate that familial support partially attenuates the relationship between immigrant generation and mental health service use, but only for Latinx groups. Familial support was not significantly different for older adults than that of those younger in age.

Research Limitations/Implications

Findings suggest the need for a better understanding of familial support as it relates to mental health service use for these groups. Approaches to improving the access to, and the overall use of, mental health services should be sensitive to ethnic variation. Immigrant groups may also endure stressors associated with legal and citizenship status. Future research should consider the effect of these political identities on mental health. Studies on parent–child relationship quality should also be longitudinal in order to better understand the dynamic nature of familial support across the life course.

Originality/Value of Paper

This chapter addresses gaps in the literature as Asian Americans are relatively understudied group with regard to mental health. Previous studies showed that US-born Asian American and Latinx populations are more likely to use mental health services than their foreign-born counterparts, but the effects of generation status and familial support for older adults are unclear.

Keywords

Citation

Valles, J. (2019), "Familial Support and Mental Health Service Use: Differences among First- and Second-generation Asian American and Latinx Older Adults", Underserved and Socially Disadvantaged Groups and Linkages with Health and Health Care Differentials (Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Vol. 37), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 33-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0275-495920190000037006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited