Linguistic Adaptation and Cognitive Function in Older Chinese and Korean Immigrants in the United States: A Cross-Sectional Study

Yuri Jang, Eun Young Choi, Bei Wu, Xin Qi Dong, Miyong T. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the cross-sectional association of linguistic adaptation with cognitive function, as well as its interactions with sociodemographic and health profiles in older Chinese and Korean immigrants in the U.S. Methods: Using harmonized data (N = 5063) from the Population Study of Chinese Elderly (PINE) and the Study of Older Korean Americans (SOKA), we examined between- and within-group differences in the role of linguistic adaptation (English use in older Chinese Americans and English proficiency in older Korean Americans) in cognitive function. Results: The positive association between linguistic adaptation and cognitive function was common in both groups. We also found that the relationship was pronounced among subgroups with the underlying linguistic and cognitive vulnerabilities (i.e., the very old, women, those with low education, and newly immigrated individuals). Discussion: Findings show the importance of linguistic adaptation in older immigrants’ cognitive health and suggest a need for targeted interventions for high-risk groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • acculturation
  • asian americans
  • cognitive function
  • english proficiency
  • linguistic adaptation
  • older immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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