This chapter reviews and critically examines issues regarding the mental health of Asians in the United States. As a distinct ethnic group in the United States, Asian Americans have experienced value conflicts between their own ethnic culture and that of mainstream Americans, as well as instances of racial prejudice and discrimination. Given these experiences, it is important to examine the mental health status of Asian Americans. Several consistent research findings have emerged. First, few Asian Americans utilize the mental health system. Second, those who do use services are highly disturbed in terms of psychiatric disorders. Third, cultural factors appear to influence this pattern of low utilization but greater severity of disturbance. Fourth, epidemiological surveys show that the rates of mental disorders among Asian Americans are not extraordinarily low. Fifth, the relatively small population of Asian Americans, their heterogeneity, and the constantly changing demographic characteristics of the population have made it difficult to ascertain rates of mental disorders. More research is needed in order to gain insights into the within-group differences among Asian Americans, the role of acculturation in psychopathology and help-seeking behaviors, and cultural expressions of psychopathology.
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