Foreigner objectification, cultural assets, and psychological adjustment in Asian American college students

Christine S. Wu, Stephanie T. Pituc, Adam Y. Kim, Richard M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Asian Americans have historically been subjected to foreigner objectification, a form of racial discrimination rooted in the "perpetual foreigner" stereotype. Foreigner objectification is related to multiple indicators of negative psychological adjustment and may be particularly salient for U.S.-born Asian Americans. This study examined whether cultural asset profiles (composed of ethnic-racial identity, American identity, and ethnic socialization) moderate the relationship between foreigner objectification and psychological adjustment among U.S.-born Asian American college students (N = 468). Using person-centered cluster analytic methods, four cultural asset profiles were derived (Multiple High Assets, Multiple Low Assets, High American Assets, Moderate Ethnic-Racial Assets). Foreigner objectification was significantly associated with lower subjective well-being, and this association was not moderated by cultural asset profiles. Foreigner objectification was also significantly related to higher psychological distress, but this relationship was moderated by cultural asset profiles. The results suggest that moderate levels of ethnic-racial assets may be more protective in the context of the foreigner objectificationdistress association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-22
Number of pages9
JournalAsian American Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Psychological Association.


  • Asian Americans
  • Ethnic socialization
  • Ethnic-racial identity
  • Foreigner objectification
  • National identity


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