The aim of this study was to examine how perceived racial discrimination is associated with mental distress among diverse Asian Americans and to explore the potential moderators in the relationship. Based on the 2015 Asian American Quality of Life (AAQoL) survey (n = 2609), direct influences were tested of the contextual (demographic, health-related, and immigration-related) variables and perceived racial discrimination on mental distress, as well as their interactions. About 30% of the sample reported perceived racial discrimination, and 44% fell into the category of having mental distress. Perceived racial discrimination was associated with 1.90 times higher odds of mental distress and had significant interactions with age, education, and ethnicity. The association of mental distress with perceived racial discrimination was higher among those who were 60 or older, less educated, and Vietnamese than among their respective counterparts. Findings can guide strategic and targeted interventions for high-risk groups.
- Asian Americans
- Mental distress
- Perceived racial discrimination
- Unfair treatment