Perceived discrimination and depression among new migrants to Hong Kong: The moderating role of social support and neighborhood collective efficacy

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Abstract

Background: Although it is well known that perceived discrimination is a risk factor contributing to depressive symptoms among immigrants, most previous studies (1) did not distinguish between discrimination based on immigrant status and race and (2) used cross-sectional data.
Aims: To address these limitations, the present study examined whether perceived discrimination affects depressive symptomatology in a representative sample of newly arrived immigrants from Mainland China to Hong Kong using longitudinal data over a period of one year.
Methods: A representative sample of 347 migrants aged 18 and older were interviewed face to face in 2007 and 2008. The 20-item Center for Epidemiology Studies of Depression (CES-D) scale was used to measure depressive symptoms and a series of sociodemographic questions (age, gender, marital status, education, and personal income), stress due to perceived discrimination, social support, and neighborhood collective efficacy were also included.
Results: Perceived discrimination was significantly associated with depressive symptoms one year later, after adjusting for depressive symptoms at baseline assessment, sociodemographic characteristics, social support, and neighborhood collective efficacy. Moreover, both social support and neighborhood collective efficacy moderated the effect of perceived discrimination on depressive symptoms.
Conclusions: Perceived discrimination is a common experience for new Mainland immigrants to Hong Kong, and it predicts depressive symptoms. Therefore, interventions that reduce discrimination and strengthen social support and neighborhood collective efficacy should be designed and implemented to improve the mental health of new immigrants in Hong Kong. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-70
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume138
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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Hong Kong
Social Support
Depression
Marital Status
China
Mental Health
Epidemiology
Education

Citation

Chou, K.-L. (2012). Perceived discrimination and depression among new migrants to Hong Kong: The moderating role of social support and neighborhood collective efficacy. Journal of Affective Disorders, 138(1-2), 63-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.12.029

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Perceived discrimination
  • Social support
  • Collective efficacy