Factors Associated with Second Generation Cambodian American Young Adults' Mental and Behavioral Health
The purpose of the study was to examine the associations of protective (ethic identity, parent-child closeness) and risk (perceived discrimination, parent-child role reversal) factors with mental and behavioral health in 2nd generation Cambodian American (CA) young adults. A total of 66 participants who identified as being 2nd generation CA young adults aged 18-25 years old were recruited to participate in this cross-sectional. Reliable and valid measures were used to assess protective and risk factors and mental (depressive, anxiety, somatic symptoms) and behavioral health outcomes (alcohol and drug use). We used descriptive statistics to describe sample characteristics and study variables and conducted multiple regression analysis to examine the associations of factors with each of the 5 health outcomes. The findings suggested that peer discrimination was positively and significantly associated with depressive (β = 0.42, p = 0.023; R2 = 0.397) and somatic symptoms (β = 0.63, p = 0.000, R2 = 0.554). Father role-reversal was also found to be negatively and significantly associated with predicting CA young adults’ anxiety symptoms (β = -0.32, p = 0.005, R2 = 0.456).
Majority of the CA young adults have perceived racial/ethnic discrimination in the community. Furthermore, perceived discrimination has been positively associated with their depressive and somatic symptoms, suggesting a need to address racial/ethnic discrimination issues to promote positive mental health in this population. It is important for school/work personnel and healthcare providers to assess CA young adults’ discrimination experiences, and have the sufficient resources (e.g., education, support groups) to prevent negative consequences associated with discrimination.