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The association between social ties and depression among Asian and Pacific Islander undocumented young adults.

  • Author(s): Ro, Annie;
  • Nakphong, Michelle Kao;
  • Choi, Hye Young;
  • Nguyen, Alex;
  • Sudhinaraset, May
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

The mental health of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) undocumented young adults has been understudied, despite an increasingly restrictive immigration climate that would ostensibly raise mental health risks. This study examined the role of social ties and depression among API undocumented young adults. We distinguished between two types of social ties, bonding and bridging, and additionally considered the absence of ties (e.g. isolation).

Methods

We used primary data collected among 143 API undocumented young adults. We first identified correlates for each type of social tie and then examined the association for each measure with depression.

Results

Higher levels of bonding and bridging ties were associated with lower odds of a positive depression screen. In contrast, isolation was associated with higher odds of a positive depression screen. There were no significant associations between total social ties and depression.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that both bonding and bridging ties are important factors in the mental health of API undocumented young adults. Factors that facilitate these types of ties, such as DACA, can be effective interventions for improving mental health among this population.

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