The impact of acculturation and ethnic identity on the intergenerational relations and psychological well-being of Japanese-American elderly in a retirement residence

Mai Yamaguchi, Merril D Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to analyze the influence of acculturation and ethnic identity on the intergenerational relationships of Japanese-American elderly in a retirement residence. Face-to-face interviews with 81 residents in a retirement residence for Japanese-Americans in Los Angeles were conducted. We hypothesized that stronger acculturation to the dominant culture based on the use of English would be negatively related to filial responsibility and affection for children, while a stronger Japanese ethnic identity would increase filial responsibility and affection for children. We also hypothesized that both filial responsibility and affection for children would be positively related to the psychological well-being of the elderly. Multiple regression analysis revealed generational differences, with Nisei (second generation) elderly being more acculturated and less likely to self-identify as Japanese than the first generation. Weaker filial responsibility and stronger affection for children predicted greater overall satisfaction with children, which in turn was positively associated with the elderly's life satisfaction and subsequent reduction in depressive symptoms. The results suggest that acculturation and ethnic identity indirectly play a role in the quality of intergenerational relationships and the emotional well-being of Japanese-American elderly in a retirement residence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalHallym International Journal of Aging
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Ethnic identity
  • Filial responsibility
  • Intergenerational relations
  • Japanese-American

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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