Effects of Perceived Discrimination on Asian Americans: A Daily Process Study
Dang, Thu Anh
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The purpose of this study was to (a) examine the effects of daily perceived discrimination on the psychological functioning of Asian Americans, specifically their daily fear, hostility, sadness, serenity, and self-esteem, and (b) examine whether ethnic identity moderated the effects of daily perceived discrimination on daily affect and self-esteem ratings of Asian Americans. This study used a daily process method. By using this method, I was able to assess the immediate effects of perceived discrimination as well as examine both within and between individual differences. Participants were 40 self-identified Asian American college students from Washington and California. Participants completed a one-time demographic questionnaire and ethnic identity measure (MEIM; Phinney, 1992). They also completed one daily diary entry each evening for 21 days. The daily diary entry consisted of 10 perceived discrimination items, 1 open-ended item, 13 affect items (PANAS-X; Watson & Clark, 1994) and 5 self-esteem items (R-SES; Rosenberg, 1965). My hypotheses were: 1) increased experiences of perceived daily discrimination will predict (a) higher daily fear ratings, (b) higher daily hostility ratings, (c) higher daily sadness ratings, (d) lower daily serenity ratings, and (e) lower daily self-esteem ratings, and 2) ethnic identity will moderate, or buffer, the effects of daily perceived discrimination on (a) daily fear ratings, (b) daily hostility ratings, (c) daily sadness ratings, (d) daily serenity ratings, and (e) daily self-esteem ratings. Multilevel analysis, with days nested within individuals, was the primary method of analysis. Hypothesis I was partially supported. Perceived daily discrimination predicted daily hostility scores but not daily fear, sadness, serenity, or self-esteem scores. Hypothesis II was not supported. Ethnic identity did not moderate the effects of daily perceived discrimination on affect or self-esteem scores. This study demonstrated the benefits of using a daily process method and the importance of researching the effects of discrimination on psychological well-being among Asian Americans.