Experiences of discrimination and oral health-related quality of life among foreign-born older Chinese Americans: Does resilience play a mediating role?

Weiyu Mao, Bei Wu, Iris Chi, Wei Yang, Xin Qi Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: It is well-established that racial discrimination influences quality of life, but there is scarce evidence about how racial discrimination affects oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL). Furthermore, the pathways linking racial discrimination and OHRQoL remain unknown. Guided by the integrative framework of immigration, ageing, and oral health, psychosocial stressors and resources exert influences on OHRQoL. In addition, according to the compensatory model of resilience, resilient resources could counteract risk exposures to stressors given specific outcomes. Hence, this study examined the relationship between experiences of discrimination and OHRQoL and investigated resilience as a mediator in such a relationship among older Chinese immigrants. Methods: Data came from the Population Study of Chinese Elderly in Chicago collected between 2017 and 2019. The working sample included 3054 foreign-born older Chinese Americans aged 60 years or older. OHRQoL was measured by seven items from the Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index. Experiences of discrimination (yes or no) were measured by the 9-item Experiences of Discrimination instrument. Resilience was measured by the 10-item Connor Davidson Resilience Scale. Mediation analysis was conducted to examine the direct and indirect pathways towards OHRQoL. Results: Experiences of discrimination were directly associated with poorer OHRQoL (b = −0.98, P <.05). Resilience partially mediated the relationship between discrimination experiences and OHRQoL. Specifically, discrimination experiences were associated with weaker resilience (b = −1.58, P <.05), and weaker resilience was associated with poorer OHRQoL (b = 0.06, P <.05). Conclusions: Findings illustrate the importance of studying racial discrimination and resilience in OHRQoL. Interventions need to consider individuals’ discrimination experiences and stress coping abilities to promote OHRQoL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • discrimination
  • immigration
  • mediation
  • oral health
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • General Dentistry


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