Associations of Employment Frustration with Self-Rated Physical and Mental Health Among Asian American Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Force


A.B. de Castro, Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington School of Nursing, Box 357263, Seattle, WA 98195-7263. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Objective: This study examined the associations between employment frustration and both self-rated physical health (SRPH) and self-rated mental health (SRMH) among Asian American immigrants.

Design and Sample: A cross-sectional quantitative analysis was conducted utilizing data from 1,181 Asian immigrants participating in the National Latino and Asian American Study.

Measures: Employment frustration was measured by self-report of having difficulty finding the work one wants because of being of Asian descent. SRPH and SRMH were each assessed using a global one-item measure, with responses ranging from poor to excellent. Control variables included gender, age, ethnicity, education, occupation, income, whether immigrated for employment, years in the United States, English proficiency, and a general measure for everyday discrimination.

Results: Ordered logistic regression showed that employment frustration was negatively associated with SRPH. This relationship, however, was no longer significant in multivariate models including English proficiency. The negative association between employment frustration and SRMH persisted even when including all control variables.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that Asian immigrants in the United States who experience employment frustration report lower levels of both physical and mental health. However, English proficiency may attenuate the relationship of employment frustration with physical health.