John Henryism, self-reported physical health indicators, and the mediating role of perceived stress among high socio-economic status Asian immigrants.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This study examined the relationship between John Henryism (a strong behavioral predisposition to engage in high effort coping with difficult barriers to success) and self-reported physical health among high socio-economic (SES) status Asian immigrants to the USA. Cross-sectional data were collected from a community sample of 318 self-identified Chinese and Indian immigrants aged 18-73, averaging 10.2 yr lived in the US. In addition to the John Henryism Active Coping Scale, health status was measured using ordinal ratings of global self-rated health, somatic symptoms and physical health functioning. We also evaluated whether perceived stress would explain the relationship between John Henryism and health. Controlling for demographic factors, regression analyses showed that higher John Henryism significantly predicted better self-rated health and physical functioning, and fewer somatic symptoms. These relationships were significantly and fully mediated (for physical functioning and somatic symptoms) or partially mediated (for self-rated health) by lower perceived stress. Results suggest that John Henryism relates to better health among high SES Asian immigrants in part by reducing perceived stress. To better understand and improve health in all racial/ethnic groups, especially racial minorities and immigrants, more research is needed on John Henryism and perceived stress as important psychosocial mechanisms intervening between environmental exposures and health outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Haritatos, J; Mahalingam, R; James, SA

Published Date

  • March 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 64 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1192 - 1203

PubMed ID

  • 17174456

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-5347

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0277-9536

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.10.037


  • eng