Discrimination and satisfaction with life: Exploring perceived functional effects of asian american race/ethnicity as a moderator

Giac-Thao Tran, Cindy C. Sangalang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aims to understand the relations between experiences of racial/ethnic discrimination, perceptions of the harmful or helpful effects of one's Asian American race/ethnicity within educational and occupational contexts (perceived functional effects), and well-being (i.e., satisfaction with life). A primary focus was to evaluate whether the association between racial/ethnic discrimination and satisfaction with life varied based on the degree to which Asian Americans believe that their race or ethnicity is helpful or harmful to educational and occupational functioning. Method: This study draws on nationally representative data from ethnically diverse Asian American adults (N = 3,335) and utilizes weighted descriptive, correlational, and logistic regression moderation analyses. Results: Ethnic variations emerged across analyses. Logistic regression analyses revealed a significant moderation effect for Chinese and Filipino Americans. Follow-up analyses revealed a protective effect of perceiving more positive or helpful functional effects in nullifying the link between discrimination and dissatisfaction with life for Chinese Americans. By contrast, viewing more harmful functional effects had a buffering effect for Filipino Americans. Conclusions: Results have implications for conceptualizing the potential impact of perspectives that imply Asian American advantage or disadvantage. Opportunities to apply and extend these initial findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Asian American ethnicities
  • Discrimination
  • Effects of discrimination
  • Satisfaction with life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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