Quality of life among Asian American youth

Chris Fradkin, Jan L. Wallander*, Yoshimi Yamakawa, David C. Schwebel, Alyna Chien, Yen Chi L. Le, Dennis H. Li, Marc Elliott, Mark Schuster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The aims of the present study were to examine whether Asian American youth experience disparities in quality of life (QL) compared with Hispanic, African American, and white youth in the general population and to what extent socioeconomic status (SES) mediates any disparities among these racial/ethnic groups. Data were obtained from the Healthy Passages study, in which 4,972 Asian American (148; 3%), Hispanic (1,813; 36%), African American (1,755; 35%), and white (1,256; 25%) fifth-graders were enrolled in a population-based, cross-sectional survey conducted in three U.S. metropolitan areas. Youth reported their own QL using the PedsQL and supplemental scales. Parents reported youtha's overall health status as well as parenta's education and household income level. Asian American youth experienced worse status than white youth for three of 10 QL and well-being measures, better status than Hispanic youth on six measures, and better status than African American youth on three measures. However, the observed advantages for Asian American youth over Hispanic and African American youth disappeared when the marked SES differences that are also present among these racial/ethnic groups were taken into account. In contrast, the differences between Asian American and white youth remained after adjusting for SES. These findings suggest that the disparities in QL that favor white youth over Asian American youth exist independent of SES and warrant further examination. In contrast, the QL differences that favor Asian American over Hispanic and African American youth may be partly explained by SES. Interpretations are limited by the heterogeneity existing among Asian Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalAsian American Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Asian American
  • disparities
  • quality of life
  • socioeconomic status
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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