Resilience, Trauma, and Cultural Norms Regarding Disclosure of Mental Health Problems Among Foreign-Born and Us-Born Filipino American Women

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Behavioral Medicine





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© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Resilience refers to a set of personal qualities and abilities that allow an individual to confront challenges, risks, or traumatic experiences in an integrated manner and to thrive in the face of significant adversities. This cross-sectional study explores resilience, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and family norms with disclosure of mental health problems (FNAD) in a sample of 182 Filipino American women (FAW). Participants completed survey measures of resilience, PTSD, and FNAD and open-ended questions about beliefs and reasons for (not) disclosing mental health problems outside the family. Previous research found that the rates of psychological trauma and depression among FAW are higher than those in other Asian ethnic groups, which makes it necessary to investigate the protective characteristic of resilience among FAW. According to our results, foreign-born FAW had a significantly lower PTSD and greater resilience as compared to their US-born counterparts. A significant negative relationship between PTSD and resilience was observed only among foreign-born FAW. We also found a conditional moderating effect of FNAD on the negative relationship between resilience and PTSD. The results of our qualitative analysis of the participants’ responses to the open-ended questions of the survey showed that FAW’s family norms of nondisclosure are related to the cultural value of “saving face,” a salient cultural construct among Asian family members. Results suggest that protective properties of resilience against PTSD are influenced by cultural factors, such as FNAD. Taken together, our findings underscore the importance of considering the impact of collectivistic cultural values (e.g., FNAD) in future research on resilience among Asian Americans.


American women; Asian american; Cultural norms; Filipino; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Resilience


Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing | Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing



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