The Relationship Between Acculturation and Subjective Well-Being in an Asian-American Sample

Open Access
Baker, Allison Margaret
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jose Angel Soto, Thesis Supervisor
  • Kenneth Levy, Honors Advisor
  • acculturation
  • well-being
  • Asian-American
  • Asian
  • culture
  • positive psychology
Asian Americans represent one of the fastest growing ethnic minority populations in the United States, making it increasingly important to understand this group’s unique mental health concerns. One concept that has received significant attention with regard to the mental health of Asian Americans is the relationship between acculturation and mental health. Most of the focus in this line of research has been on negative aspects of mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety, somatization) while largely neglecting the positive aspects of mental health. The present study explored the relationship between acculturation and well-being among 102 Asian and Asian-American students. Individuals at either end of the acculturation continuum were expected to experience significant stressors associated with low and high acculturation (acculturative and bicultural stress, respectively) and therefore have lower levels of subjective well-being than Asian participants with intermediate levels of acculturation. This hypothesis was tested using a trend analysis looking for a quadratic relationship between well-being and acculturation (linear trends were also examined). While the hypothesis was not supported, individual elements of subjective well-being were found to have a positive linear relationship with acculturation.