ASIAN IMMIGRANTS' HEALTH AND ACCULTURATION: RETHINKING THE ADAPTATION PROCESS
Professor Bhattacharya’s research focuses on the prevention of substance use and HIV infection, and on access to healthcare among immigrant populations from nonEnglish-speaking, South Asian countries. Her studies emphasize the interface of health and welfare issues in the context of acculturation, family relationships, and social adjustment during the adaptation process. Immigrants’ health is intertwined with our nation’s health. Health disparities between immigrants and nonimmigrants increase illness-related costs through medical expenses and the loss of socioeconomic productivity.
During her Center appointment, Professor Bhattacharya will examine (a) to what extent contemporary societal, cultural, economic, and political situations in the United States influence the adaptation process of recent immigrants; (b) how recent immigrants from India negotiate their pre-immigration expectations, post-immigration experiences, and hope (or frustration) for the future; and (c) to what extent acculturative stress factors may contribute to vulnerability to such health risks as substance abuse and HIV. Her project will use data drawn from three community-based qualitative studies she has conducted in India and the United States. The resulting conceptual model, linking acculturative stress factors with health outcomes, will be applicable to studying health risks among Asian Indians and other acculturating immigrant groups.