Older Chinese Americans can improve family relationships, cognition through acculturation

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According to a Ratgers study, older Chinese immigrants who learn Chinese, follow national media, and adapt to new cultural environments by interacting with locals reduce the cultural adaptation gap with adult children. Can protect cognitive function.

Studies published in the journal Aging and mental health, Is one of the first researchers to investigate the relationship between intergenerational families, acculturation, and cognitive function of older Chinese-Americans.

The researchers examined 2,900 Chinese-Americans over the age of 60 who had at least one child and participated in the PINE study, an epidemiological study of older Chinese-Americans. They analyzed three areas of cultural change: language, media use, and ethnic and social relationships, and how they correspond. Episodic memory, Working memory and processing speed, Cognitive ability Things that decline with age.

They found that the more English they were, the more often they used the American media, and the more they interacted with people outside the Chinese community, the higher their cognitive function.

“One possible explanation is that improving English proficiency is associated with the learning process and can stimulate memory and associated cognitive function,” said Rutgers Nursing School assistant professor and health researcher. Menting Li, a faculty member of the institute, said Healthcare Policy and Aging Studies. “English proficiency also strengthens social involvement and may help maintain cognitive function.”

According to Li, the use of US media is associated with improving cognitive function through the processing and storage of information. The knowledge they gain from the American media can also bridge the gap between them and the younger generation and reduce family conflicts.

The findings show the recognition of older Chinese Americans by improving their English proficiency, using and engaging with American media, strengthening social networks, and helping the healthy aging of people, especially in conflict-prone families. It can be used to design interventions to protect functionality. Said. The findings may also apply to aging immigrants from other ethnic minorities in the United States, who have cultural and linguistic barriers and intergenerational relationships due to cultural differences.

“It is important that older Chinese immigrants do not lose sight of their culture, while they can work on cultural adaptation of new communities as a way to promote healthy cognitive aging in the context of immigrants. “This study only looked at the role of adapting to the culture of the host community in cognitive function,” said Lee. “Future studies will also affect cognitive function by maintaining heritage culture.” You need to consider.


Memory loss and dementia are under-researched but widespread phenomena among Chinese-Americans


For more information:
Mengting Li et al, Family Type and Cognitive Function of Older Chinese Americans: Cultural Adaptation as Moderator, Aging and mental health (2021). DOI: 10.1080 / 13607863.2021.1926426

Provided by
Rutgers University

Quote: Older Chinese Americans can improve family relationships and cognition through cultural change (June 7, 2021)

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