DISCRIMINATION, JOB CONCERNS, AND WORK INJURIES ON CHINESE IMMIGRANT MENTAL HEALTH

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/211539
Type:
Research Study
Title:
DISCRIMINATION, JOB CONCERNS, AND WORK INJURIES ON CHINESE IMMIGRANT MENTAL HEALTH
Abstract:
Purpose: This research presentation focuses on the combined influence of social discrimination, job concerns, and work injuries on the mental health of Chinese immigrant workers. Background: The expanding literature on health disparities demonstrates the critical role of social conditions in which individuals work and live for health outcomes. Research consistently reveals that discrimination increases mental health problems among ethnic minority populations. Psychosocial aspects of work such as job security and opportunities, workplace relationships, and physical and psychological demands adversely affect workers’ well-being. Notably, immigrants, compared to their U.S.-born counterparts, are more likely to be employed in riskier occupations, and to experience disparities related to workplace hazard exposures and work-related health problems. Foreign- and U.S.-born Chinese–the largest Asian subgroup in the U.S.–are underrepresented in the literature. Moreover, the combined and independent effects of discrimination, job concerns, and work-related injuries on immigrant worker mental health have not been systematically examined. Such knowledge deficit limits the capacity of health professionals to address health disparities among Chinese immigrant food services workers who regularly encounter these conditions. Methods: Participants were Chinese immigrants (N=187) employed in food service occupations, each of whom completed the comprehensive, in-person interview conducted in Chinese. Mental health problems (α=.93) were measured by frequency of experienced psychosocial distress and somatic symptoms. Social discrimination (α=.78) was assessed by the frequency of experiencing subtle or overt discrimination and unfair treatment because of one’s social characteristics (e.g., skin color, accent). Job concerns (α=.88) referred to the worries about workplace context and that associated with immigration and immigrant status. Work injuries (α=.73) were captured by frequent experiences of common injuries in food services occupations. All questionnaire items were rated using Likert-type response options, with higher values indicating higher levels of the variable of interest. Following descriptive analysis, hierarchical multiple regression models were tested. Results: Analysis revealed that, on average, participants had lived in the U.S. 10.6 years (SD=9.1); 53.5% were female; and 56.7% understood some spoken English. Average weekly work hours ranged from 2 to 112 hours (M=36.2, SD=19.7). The majority (76.5%) reported good to excellent physical health. Mental health problems, social discrimination, job concerns, and work injuries were positively correlated with one another (range r=.32 to .53, all p<.01). Controlling for demographics and relevant covariates (e.g., gender, English proficiency, physical health), discrimination, job concerns and work injuries had significant and independent effects on mental health problems (b=.22; b=.23; b=.30, p<.01; R2adj=.45). Implications: This study integrates diverse lines of research to provide new insight into the impact of social and job contexts on mental health and the need to attend to an understudied area about work injuries and worker mental health. These findings substantiate the need for further research in order to elucidate mechanisms by which such complexities in fact influence immigrant worker mental health. The findings also serve dual purposes as a foundation for mental health promotion efforts for Chinese immigrant workers and as a basis for intervention design to advance the elimination of health disparities.
Keywords:
Chinese immigrant workers; Psychosocial aspects; Mental health
Repository Posting Date:
20-Feb-2012
Date of Publication:
20-Feb-2012
Other Identifiers:
5408
Sponsors:
Western Institute of Nursing

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typeResearch Studyen_GB
dc.titleDISCRIMINATION, JOB CONCERNS, AND WORK INJURIES ON CHINESE IMMIGRANT MENTAL HEALTHen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/211539-
dc.description.abstractPurpose: This research presentation focuses on the combined influence of social discrimination, job concerns, and work injuries on the mental health of Chinese immigrant workers. Background: The expanding literature on health disparities demonstrates the critical role of social conditions in which individuals work and live for health outcomes. Research consistently reveals that discrimination increases mental health problems among ethnic minority populations. Psychosocial aspects of work such as job security and opportunities, workplace relationships, and physical and psychological demands adversely affect workers’ well-being. Notably, immigrants, compared to their U.S.-born counterparts, are more likely to be employed in riskier occupations, and to experience disparities related to workplace hazard exposures and work-related health problems. Foreign- and U.S.-born Chinese–the largest Asian subgroup in the U.S.–are underrepresented in the literature. Moreover, the combined and independent effects of discrimination, job concerns, and work-related injuries on immigrant worker mental health have not been systematically examined. Such knowledge deficit limits the capacity of health professionals to address health disparities among Chinese immigrant food services workers who regularly encounter these conditions. Methods: Participants were Chinese immigrants (N=187) employed in food service occupations, each of whom completed the comprehensive, in-person interview conducted in Chinese. Mental health problems (α=.93) were measured by frequency of experienced psychosocial distress and somatic symptoms. Social discrimination (α=.78) was assessed by the frequency of experiencing subtle or overt discrimination and unfair treatment because of one’s social characteristics (e.g., skin color, accent). Job concerns (α=.88) referred to the worries about workplace context and that associated with immigration and immigrant status. Work injuries (α=.73) were captured by frequent experiences of common injuries in food services occupations. All questionnaire items were rated using Likert-type response options, with higher values indicating higher levels of the variable of interest. Following descriptive analysis, hierarchical multiple regression models were tested. Results: Analysis revealed that, on average, participants had lived in the U.S. 10.6 years (SD=9.1); 53.5% were female; and 56.7% understood some spoken English. Average weekly work hours ranged from 2 to 112 hours (M=36.2, SD=19.7). The majority (76.5%) reported good to excellent physical health. Mental health problems, social discrimination, job concerns, and work injuries were positively correlated with one another (range r=.32 to .53, all p<.01). Controlling for demographics and relevant covariates (e.g., gender, English proficiency, physical health), discrimination, job concerns and work injuries had significant and independent effects on mental health problems (b=.22; b=.23; b=.30, p<.01; R2adj=.45). Implications: This study integrates diverse lines of research to provide new insight into the impact of social and job contexts on mental health and the need to attend to an understudied area about work injuries and worker mental health. These findings substantiate the need for further research in order to elucidate mechanisms by which such complexities in fact influence immigrant worker mental health. The findings also serve dual purposes as a foundation for mental health promotion efforts for Chinese immigrant workers and as a basis for intervention design to advance the elimination of health disparities.en_GB
dc.subjectChinese immigrant workersen_GB
dc.subjectPsychosocial aspectsen_GB
dc.subjectMental healthen_GB
dc.date.available2012-02-20T12:01:04Z-
dc.date.issued2012-02-20T12:01:04Z-
dc.date.accessioned2012-02-20T12:01:04Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipWestern Institute of Nursingen_GB
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