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A Systematic Review on Racial Discrimination and Depressive Symptoms Among Asian Americans in the United States from 2009-2019

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A growing body of research suggest that experiencing racial discrimination is associated with the development of mental health problems. Lee and Ahn (2011) conducted a meta-analysis that documented the relationship between racial discrimination and psychopathology, including depressive symptoms among Asian

A growing body of research suggest that experiencing racial discrimination is associated with the development of mental health problems. Lee and Ahn (2011) conducted a meta-analysis that documented the relationship between racial discrimination and psychopathology, including depressive symptoms among Asian Americans. However, evidence of an increase in racial discrimination in the last decade requires examining to what degree its link to depressive symptoms has changed since Lee and Ahn (2011)’s seminal study. To address this issue, I conducted a systematic review of research on racial discrimination and depressive symptoms among Asian Americans from 2009-2019 in the United States. I used PsycINFO, Web of Science, PubMed, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global to perform my search. My aims were to: 1) understand the relationship between racial discrimination and depressive symptoms, 2) understand how studies vary across sex, age, measures, socioeconomic and ethnic subgroup (e.g., Chinese Americans, Vietnamese Americans). My results demonstrated that the relationship between racial discrimination and depressive symptoms was primarily positive. Factors regarding sex, age, measures, and socioeconomic status varied across studies. Future research should focus more on current issues regarding Asian Americans and use meta-analytic techniques to further investigate any potential moderators such as socioeconomic status and ethnic subgroups.

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2020-05

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Meta-Analytic Evidence That Racial Discrimination Should Be Considered an Adverse Childhood Experience: A Focus on Depressive Symptoms

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A growing body of research suggests a link between adverse childhood experiences and negative health outcomes. However, less is known about where racial discrimination ranks compared to other adverse childhood experiences, such as maltreatment. To address this issue, I conducted

A growing body of research suggests a link between adverse childhood experiences and negative health outcomes. However, less is known about where racial discrimination ranks compared to other adverse childhood experiences, such as maltreatment. To address this issue, I conducted two systematic reviews of meta-analyses to compare the magnitudes of the links between racial discrimination and depressive symptoms and childhood maltreatment and depressive symptoms. My aim was to establish if racial discrimination should be considered an adverse childhood experience. My results demonstrated that the link between racial discrimination and depressive symptoms (r = 0.27) is comparable to the links between 4 different manifestations of maltreatment and depressive symptoms (physical abuse: r = 0.257, emotional abuse: r = 0.301, neglect: r = 0.381, sexual abuse: r = 0.408). I discuss the implications of these findings and propose future research directions.

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2021-05

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Relation between family strain and depressive symptoms in middle-aged adults: the moderating effect of self-compassion

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Interpersonal strain is linked with depressive symptoms in middle-aged adults. Self-compassion is an emerging resilience construct that may be advantageous in navigating relationship strain by helping individuals respond to emotions in a kind and nonjudgmental way. Although theory and empirical

Interpersonal strain is linked with depressive symptoms in middle-aged adults. Self-compassion is an emerging resilience construct that may be advantageous in navigating relationship strain by helping individuals respond to emotions in a kind and nonjudgmental way. Although theory and empirical evidence suggests that self-compassion is protective against the impact of stress on mental health outcomes, many studies have not investigated how self-compassion operates in the context of relationship strain. In addition, few studies have examined psychological or physiological mechanisms by which self-compassion protects against mental health outcomes, depression in particular. Thus, this study examined 1) the extent to which trait self-compassion buffers the relation between family strain and depressive symptoms, and 2) whether these buffering effects are mediated by hope and inflammatory processes (IL-6) in a sample of 762 middle-aged, community-dwelling adults. Results from structural equation models indicated that family strain was unrelated to depressive symptoms and the relation was not moderated by self-compassion. Hope, but not IL-6, mediated the relation between family strain and depressive symptoms and the indirect effect was not conditional on levels of self-compassion. Taken together, the findings suggest that family strain may lead individuals to experience less hope and subsequent increases in depressive symptoms, and further, that a self-compassionate attitude does not affect this relation. Implications for future self-compassion interventions are discussed.

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2019