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Impact of social discrimination, job concerns, and social support on filipino immigrant worker mental health and substance use

Authors

  • Jenny Hsin-Chun Tsai PhD, ARNP, PMHCNS-BC,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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  • Elaine Adams Thompson PhD, RN

    1. Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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  • This study was performed at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
  • Disclosure Statement: We have no financial, professional, or personal relationship that might potentially bias and/or impact content of this publication.

Correspondence to: Dr. Jenny Hsin-Chun Tsai, Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, School of Nursing, University of Washington, Box 357263, Seattle, WA 98195-7263.

E-mail: jennyt@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Background

The personal and social impact of mental health problems and substance use on workforce participation is costly. Social determinants of health contribute significantly to health disparities beyond effects associated with work. Guided by a theory-driven model, we identified pathways by which social determinants shape immigrant worker health.

Method

Associations between known social determinants of mental health problems and substance use (social discrimination, job and employment concerns, and social support) were examined using structural equation modeling in a sample of 1,397 immigrants from the Filipino American Community Epidemiological Study.

Results

Social discrimination and low social support were associated with mental health problems and substance use (P < 0.05). Job and employment concerns were associated with mental health problems, but not substance use.

Conclusions

The integration of social factors into occupational health research is needed, along with prevention efforts designed for foreign-born ethnic minority workers. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:1082–1094, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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