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Keywords:

  • Asian Americans;
  • generation;
  • emotional distress;
  • risky behaviors;
  • adolescent health

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore ethnic and generational influences among Chinese, Filipino, and Euro American adolescents on emotional distress and risk behaviors. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted with 216 Chinese, 387 Filipino, and 400 Euro American adolescents from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health to investigate the influence of ethnicity on depression, somatic symptoms, delinquency, and substance use; and to examine the influence of generation on the outcome variables among Chinese and Filipino American adolescents. Ethnicity predicted depression and delinquency scores, while generation within ethnic groups predicted somatic symptoms and substance use. The findings diverge from theories using acculturation as an explanatory mechanism for distress and risk behaviors and underscore the importance of examining sub-groups and generations of Asian American youth. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 29: 311–324, 2006