Does Ethnic Identity Buffer or Exacerbate the Effects of Frequent Racial Discrimination on Situational Well-Being of Asian Americans?


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Abstract

A quasi-experimental vignette study was conducted to test whether ethnic identity moderated the effects of frequent racial discrimination on situational positive and negative affect of Asian American college students. Results showed that imagining multiple incidents of racial discrimination was related to higher negative affect than imagining a single incident. Asian Americans with high ethnic identity reported lower positive affect when imagining multiple incidents of racial discrimination compared to individuals with high ethnic identity imagining a single incident; by contrast, Asian Americans with low ethnic identity reported higher positive affect when imagining multiple incidents of racial discrimination compared to individuals with low ethnic identity imagining a single incident of racial discrimination. Results suggest ethnic identity may exacerbate the association between racial discrimination and situational well-being for Asian Americans. Moreover, post hoc analyses indicate that the relationship between ethnic identity and discrimination is more relevant for U.S.-born Asian Americans than it is for immigrant Asian Americans.

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