Contributing factors in the endorsement of social anxiety for Chinese-, Korean- and Filipino-Americans
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. American University
The current study examines how social anxiety (SA) operates across different East Asian American ethnic groups (Chinese-, Korean- and Filipino-Americans). This study attempts to understand whether Asian American (AA) subgroups are similar or dissimilar in terms of SA and the factors that may moderate the endorsement of it. Three hypotheses were: 1) AAs will score higher than a comparison group of Caucasian Americans (CAs) on measures of SA; 2) When comparing AA groups, these groups will report different levels of SA based on a) behavioral and value acculturation differences and b) gender differences in the three subgroups and 3) the three studied groups will endorse different variables that predict their SA based on unique historical and cultural factors.Results show that AAs endorse significantly more SA than CAs on one measure of SA (SIAS) when age was accounted for as a covariate. The AA groups did not endorse significantly different levels of SA from each other, and did not have different levels of behavioral or value acculturation. While this would initially indicate that AA groups are more similar, when each AA group was compared with CAs, it revealed that on a measure of social interaction anxiety (SIAS), both Chinese- and Korean-Americans endorsed significantly more anxiety than CAs. Filipino-Americans endorsed equivalent amounts of anxiety to CAs. This indicates dissimilarity. Preliminary analysis showed an interaction between gender and ethnicity for the Chinese-, Korean- and Filipino-American groups, and it was found Korean women reported more SA than Caucasian women and Korean men. Regression analysis also revealed differences between the groups, as they reported different variables that predicted their SA. Further, the regression models for Chinese- and Filipino-Americans yielded relatively low variable predictability, while more of the variance was accounted for in the Korean-American regression model (¡Ö 60%). The analysis indicates that different variables are associated with SA in AA groups. For better understanding and conceptualization, it may be more beneficial to examine AAs by ethnicity rather than racially. Ignoring the differences different AA ethnic groups have in culture, history and acculturation may lead to less than optimal treatment of a diverse people.
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