A cluster analytic examination of acculturation and health status among Asian Americans in the Washington DC metropolitan area, United States

Sunmin Lee, Lu Chen, Xin He, Matthew J. Miller, Hee Soon Juon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Previous studies reported mixed findings on the relationship between acculturation and health status among Asian Americans due to different types of acculturation measures used or different Asian subgroups involved in various studies. We aim to fill the gap by applying multiple measures of acculturation in a diverse sample of Asian subgroups.A cross sectional study was conducted among Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese Americans in Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area to examine the association between health status and acculturation using multiple measures including the Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation (SL-ASIA) scale, clusters based on responses to SL-ASIA, language preference, length of stay, age at arrival in the United Sates and self-identity. Three clusters (Asian (31%); Bicultural (47%); and American (22%)) were created by using a two-step hierarchical method and Bayesian Information Criterion values. Across all the measures, more acculturated individuals were significantly more likely to report good health than those who were less acculturated after adjusting for covariates. Specifically, those in the American cluster were 3.8 times (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 2.2, 6.6) more likely and those in the Bicultural cluster were 1.7 times more likely (95% CI: 1.1, 2.4) to report good health as compared to those in the Asian cluster. When the conventional standardized SL-ASIA summary score (range:-1.4 to 1.4) was used, a one point increase was associated with 2.2 times greater odds of reporting good health (95% CI: 1.5, 3.2). However, the interpretation may be challenging due to uncertainty surrounding the meaning of a one point increase in SL-ASIA summary score.Among all the measures used, acculturation clusters better approximated the acculturation process and provided us with a more accurate test of the association in the population. Variables included in this measure were more relevant for our study sample and may have worked together to capture the multifaceted acculturation process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume96
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Asian Americans
  • Clusters
  • Health status
  • Measures
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Medicine(all)

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