Adversity, Spirituality, Anger, and Health in Emerging Adults of Asian Indian Ancestry
Santoro, Anthony Frank
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Background: Asian Americans are projected to represent 9-10% of the population by 2050. Asian Indian Americans are one of the fastest growing ethnic minority groups in the United States; however, this population remains significantly underrepresented in the health literature. Available research suggests Indian Americans demonstrate poor rates of healthcare access and illness monitoring, which increases risk of preventable illness. Research is needed that examines the beliefs, attitudes, and nuances of Asian Indian Americans in order to reduce health disparities and promote health. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine how adverse childhood experiences relate to religiosity/spirituality (R/S), anger, and health outcomes in a sample of Asian Indian young adults (18-29 years old) currently living in the United States.;Methods: Recruited through internet-based platforms, a sample of Asian Indian emerging adults (18-29 years) living in the United States (N = 138) completed an electronic questionnaire, which included measures of childhood adversity, religiosity/spirituality, anger, and physical health.;Results: After adjusting for demographic variables, greater adverse childhood experiences significantly predicted a poor sense of meaning, purpose, and life direction (B = -.36,p < .001), greater distress related to religiosity/spirituality (B = .48,p < .001), greater tendencies to express anger in unhealthy ways (B = .51, p < .001), greater rates of previously diagnosed medical conditions (B = .37, p < .001), and greater degrees of physical illness symptoms over the past four weeks (B = .54,p < .001). Mediation analyses indicated that the detrimental effects of childhood adversity on one's sense of life purpose and direction were fully mediated by religious/spiritual struggles (a1b1 = - .145) and anger expression tendencies (a2b2 = -.16).;Discussion: Overall, results provide a glimpse into the nuances of Indian youth's perspective on health, as well as potential areas of intervention in combating the effects of developmental adversity on health across the lifespan.
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