This study examines how the mental health of Vietnamese Americans is influenced by a life stressor (perceived discrimination) and psychosocial resources (social network, religiosity, and acculturation). Data came from 513 Vietnamese Americans who were subsample of the Asian American Quality of Life (AAQoL) survey (total N = 2,614). The AAQoL survey was conducted with self-identified Asian Americans aged 18 or older in Central Texas in 2015. More than 32% of the Vietnamese sample reported perceived discrimination. A higher level of mental distress was associated with younger age, unmarried status, unmet financial status, poorer ratings of health, fewer years of stay in the U.S., perceived discrimination, smaller social network, and lower levels of acculturation and religiosity. In a multivariate analysis, the experience of discrimination (β = 0.16, p <.01), smaller social network (β = −.10, p <.05), and lower acculturation (β = −.17, p <.05) were found to be significant predictors to mental distress. No significant interaction was found. These identified risks and resources should be addressed in developing and implementing culturally sensitive mental health interventions targeted to Vietnamese American communities.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The support for data collection was provided by the City of Austin's Asian American Quality of Life initiative (Contract No. 26-8275-39, PI−Yuri Jang, Ph.D.).
- Mental distress
- Racial/ethnic discrimination
- Social network
- Vietnamese Americans