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Journal Article

Acculturation and disability rates among Filipino-Americans

Filipinos are the fastest growing Asian subgroup in America. Among immigrants, higher acculturation (adaptation to host society) predicts disability outcomes and may relate to disability prevalence among older Filipinos. We conducted a secondary analysis of the 2006 American Community Survey using a representative sample of older Filipinos (2,113 males; 3,078 females) to measure functional limitations, limitations in activities of daily living, blindness/deafness and memory/learning problems. Filipino males who were Americans by birth/naturalization had higher odds of blindness/deafness (OR 2.94; 95% CI = 1.69, 5.12) than non-citizens. Males who spoke English at home had higher odds of blindness/deafness (OR 1.82; 95% CI = 1.05, 3.17) and memory/learning problems (OR 2.28; 95% CI = 1.25, 4.15), while females had higher odds of memory/learning problems (OR 1.75; 95% CI = 1.13, 2.73). Acculturation is associated with greater odds of disabilities for Filipino men. Males may be more sensitive to acculturation-effects than females due to culturally prescribed roles and gender-specific experiences at the time of immigration.

L.R. De Souza
E. Fuller-Thomson
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