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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 175-180

The effect of stress and acculturation on the self-rated health of Arab Americans


1 Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA
2 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA
3 Department of Psychology, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdul-Rahman M Suleiman
Wayne State University School of Medicine, 540 E Canfield St, Detroit, MI 48201
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.jfcm_150_21

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BACKGROUND: The self-rated health of Arab Americans has been found to be worse than non-Hispanic whites. Psychosocial factors such as stress and acculturation may explain this disparity. As a result, we designed this survey to better understand the effects of stress and acculturation on the self-rated health of the Arab-American community. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using a convenience sample, we surveyed 142 self-identified Arab Americans regarding demographics, stress, acculturation, and self-rated health. Stress was measured using instruments assessing perceived stress, everyday discrimination, and acculturative stress. Acculturation was measured using a modified Vancouver Index of Acculturation. To measure self-rated health, participants were asked to rate their current health on a scale of 1 (very poor) to 5 (very good). RESULTS: A logistic regression model adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, and education did not find that stress significantly affected the odds of having poor self-rated health in Arab Americans. Heritage identity was associated with lower odds of having poor self-rated health (odds ratio = 0.37, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.15, 0.94, P < 0.05). No association was found between acculturation and poor self-rated health. CONCLUSION: Greater levels of stress were not significantly associated with greater odds of poor self-rated health in Arab Americans. We also found that greater heritage identity significantly decreased the odds of poor self-rated health in Arab Americans. The effects of everyday discrimination, perceived stress, and acculturation on self-rated health in Arab Americans remain unclear and need to be examined further.


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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010