The role of critical ethnic awareness and social support in the discrimination–depression relationship among Asian Americans: Path analysisedit
This study used a path analytic technique to examine associations among critical ethnic awareness, racial discrimination, social support, and depressive symptoms. Using a convenience sample from online survey of Asian American adults (N = 405), the study tested 2 main hypotheses: First, based on the empowerment theory, critical ethnic awareness would be positively associated with racial discrimination experience; and second, based on the social support deterioration model, social support would partially mediate the relationship between racial discrimination and depressive symptoms. The result of the path analysis model showed that the proposed path model was a good fit based on global fit indices, χ²(2) = 4.70, p = .10; root mean square error of approximation = 0.06; comparative fit index = 0.97; Tucker-Lewis index = 0.92; and standardized root mean square residual = 0.03. The examinations of study hypotheses demonstrated that critical ethnic awareness was directly associated (b = .11, p < .05) with the racial discrimination experience, whereas social support had a significant indirect effect (b = .48; bias-corrected 95% confidence interval [0.02, 1.26]) between the racial discrimination experience and depressive symptoms. The proposed path model illustrated that both critical ethnic awareness and social support are important mechanisms for explaining the relationship between racial discrimination and depressive symptoms among this sample of Asian Americans. This study highlights the usefulness of the critical ethnic awareness concept as a way to better understand how Asian Americans might perceive and recognize racial discrimination experiences in relation to its mental health consequences.