Coping with Discrimination: The Roles of Discrimination, Coping, and Group Identity in Alcohol Use among Filipin@ American Young Adults
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Filipino Americans (Fil-Ams) are currently the second largest Asian and Pacific Islander (API) American group in the United States. Compared to other APIs, Fil-Ams are a suspected at-risk group for problematic alcohol use. Fil-Ams also report experiencing discrimination at higher rates than other APIs, and it has been hypothesized that alcohol use is a means to cope with discrimination. Group identity, the extent to which one identifies with a specific social group (e.g. ethnic, national), may moderate the association between discrimination and health outcomes, including problem drinking. The present research examined the extent to which coping responses to discrimination are associated with alcohol-related problems, and whether different dimensions of group identity are related to this process. The specific aims were to: (1) develop measures for group identity and discrimination that accurately assess experiences of Fil-Ams; (2) pilot test the new measures for validity and reliability; (3) assess the relations among discrimination, coping, and alcohol-related problems; and (4) assess the role of group identity as a potential moderator in the association between discrimination/coping, and alcohol use. In accomplishing Aims 1-2, item development process and subsequent pilot testing (N = 390) resulted in two ethnic-specific scales: the Filipin@ American Microaggressions Scale (FAMS) and the Filipin@ American Identity Measure (FilAmIM). For Aims 3-4, moderated mediation analyses (N = 444) revealed a near significant indirect effect between perceived discrimination and alcohol-related problems through avoidant coping; in turn, this mediating relationship was moderated by Filipino (ethnic) and American (national) identity. The conditional indirect effect was strongest for individuals having an Assimilated Identity profile, i.e. high in American and low in Filipino identity. The findings highlight the need to consider multiple dimensions of group identity in understanding the relationship between discrimination and health, the conditions one may utilize specific coping strategies in response, and in understanding the efficacy of specific coping. Overall, the research addresses important knowledge gaps regarding the variability in alcohol use across specific API groups and the potential health effects of exposure to discrimination. It provides the basis for developing culturally appropriate interventions to prevent and treat problematic drinking among Fil-Ams as well as etiological research with other API subgroups.
- Psychology