Acculturation and health outcomes among Vietnamese immigrant women in Taiwan

Yang, Yung-Mei (2008) Acculturation and health outcomes among Vietnamese immigrant women in Taiwan. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Background Recently, Taiwan has been faced with the migration of numbers of women from Southeast Asian (SEA) countries. It was estimated that the aggregate number of SEA wives in Taiwan was more than 131,000 in 2007 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006).These women are often colloquially called, “foreign brides” or “alien brides”; most of them are seen as commodities of the marriage trade, whose marriages are arranged by marriage brokers. Some women can be regarded as being sold for profit by their families. These young Vietnamese immigrant women come to Taiwan alone, often with a single suitcase, and are culturally and geographically distinct from Taiwanese peoples; the changes in culture, interpersonal relationships, personal roles, language, value systems and attitudes exert many negative impacts on their health, so greater levels of acculturation stress can be expected. This particular group of immigrant women are highly susceptible and vulnerable to health problems, due to language barriers, cultural conflicts, social and interpersonal isolation, and lack of support systems. The aims of this study were to examine the relationships between acculturation and immigrantspecific distress and health outcomes among Vietnamese transnational married women in Taiwan. This study focuses on Vietnamese intermarriage immigrants, the largest immigrant group in the period from1994 through to 2007.

Methodology The quantitative study was divided into two phases: the first was a pilot study and the second the main study. This study was conducted in a communitybased health centre in the south of Taiwan, targeting Taiwanese households with Vietnamese wives, including the Tanam, Kaohsiung, and Pentong areas. This involved convenience sampling with participants drawn from registration records at the Public Health Centre of Kaohsiung and used the snowball technique to recruit 213 participants. The instruments included the following measures: (1) Socio-demographic information (2) Acculturation Scale (3) Acculturative Distress Scale, and (4) HRQOL. Questions related to immigrant women’s acculturation level and health status were modified. Quantitative data was coded and entered into the SPSS and SAS program for statistical analysis. The data analysis process involved descriptive, bivariate, multivariate multiple regression, and classification and regression trees (CART). Results Six hypotheses of this study were validated. Demographic data was presented and it revealed that there are statically significant differences between levels of acculturation and years of residency in Taiwan, number of children, marital status, education, religion of spouse, employment status of spouse and Chinese ethnic background by Pearson correlation and Kendall’s Tau-b or Spearman test. The correlations of daily activity, language usage, social interaction, ethnic identity, and total of acculturation score with DI tend to be negatively significant. In addition, the result of the one-way ANOVA supported the hypothesis that the different types of acculturation had a differential effect on immigrant distress. The marginalized group showed a greater immigrant distresses in comparison with the integrated group. Furthermore, the comparison t-test revealed that the Vietnamese immigrant women showed a lower score than Taiwanese women in HRQOL. The result showed higher acculturative stress associated with lower score of HRQOL on bodily pain, vitality, social functioning, mental health, and mental component summary. The CART procedure to the conclusion that the predictive variables for the physical component of the SF-36 (PCS) were: alienation, occupation, loss, language, and discrimination (predicted 28.8% of the total variance explained). The predictive variables for the mental component of the SF-36 (MCS) were: alienation, occupation, loss, language, and novelty (predicted 28.4% of the total variance explained). Conclusion As these Vietnamese immigrant women become part of Taiwanese communities and society, the need becomes apparent to understand how they acculturate to Taiwan and to the health status they acquire. The findings have implications for nursing practice, research, and will assist the Taiwanese government to formulate appropriate immigrant health policies for these SEA immigrant women. Finally, the application of this research will positively contribute to the health and well being of thousands of immigrant women and their families.

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ID Code: 20647
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Anderson, Debra J.
Keywords: acculturation, immigrant women, foreign brides, women’s health, short form 36 (SF-36), Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL)., the Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation Scale (SL-ASIA)., The Demand of Immigration Specific Distress Scale (DIS), Classification and Regression Trees (CART)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 25 May 2009 03:09
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2011 13:53

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