The Role Of Ethnic And National Identifications In Perceived Discrimination For Asian Americans: Toward A Better Understanding Of The Buffering Effect Of Group Identifications On Psychological Distress.

A robust relationship between perceived racial discrimination and psychological distress has been established. Yet, mixed evidence exists regarding the extent to which ethnic identification moderates this relationship, and scarce attention has been paid to the moderating role of national identification. We propose that the role of group identifications in the perceived discrimination-psychological distress relationship is best understood by simultaneously and interactively considering ethnic and national identifications. A sample of 259 Asian American students completed measures of perceived discrimination, group identifications (specific ethnic identification stated by respondents and national or "mainstream American" identification), and psychological distress (anxiety and depression symptoms). Regression analyses revealed a significant three-way interaction of perceived discrimination, ethnic identification, and national identification on psychological distress. Simple-slope analyses indicated that dual identification (strong ethnic and national identifications) was linked to a weaker relationship between perceived discrimination and psychological distress compared with other group identification configurations. These findings underscore the need to consider the interconnections between ethnic and national identifications to better understand the circumstances under which group identifications are likely to buffer individuals against the adverse effects of racial discrimination.