Asian immigrant religious integration and assimilation/acculturation

Miller, Donna Williams
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How does religious involvement help newly admitted legal immigrants assimilate and/or acculturate into mainstream America? In particular, how does it facilitate or hinder new immigrants' English language acquisition, educational attainment, and employment? This study uses the public and private (secured) New Immigrant Survey (NIS), a multi-cohort prospective-retrospective panel study of new legal immigrants to the United States, to explore the multifaceted relationships between religion and segmented assimilation/acculturation outcomes among various groups of Asian immigrants in the United States. This comparative approach is warranted due to the religious and cultural diversity among Asian immigrant groups. Though prior research has investigated this topic, studies tend to focus on a particular group, such as Koreans, Vietnamese, Chinese from Taiwan or mainland China, or Asian Indians. Few or no studies have systematically compared these groups in terms of assimilation processes and outcomes pertinent to religious involvement/participation. Linear regression analyses and binary logistic regression analyses consisting of five nested models were utilized for this study. The results indicate that Catholic, Protestant, Hindu religious affiliation and some other religion increase the odds of speaking English at work when compared with those of no religion. When comparing the odds of speaking English with friends, Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Buddhists, and those from some other religion are more likely to do so compared to those with no religion. Additionally, this study found that Catholic, Protestant, and Hindu Asian immigrants were more likely to complete more years of schooling than those with no religion.

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Acculturation, Asian Immigrants, Assimilation, Religious Integration