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Am J Public Health. 2007 Jan;97(1):91-8. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

Use of mental health-related services among immigrant and US-born Asian Americans: results from the National Latino and Asian American Study.

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  • 1Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, Calif 90045-2659, USA. jabekim@lmu.edu



We examined rates of mental health-related service use (i.e., any, general medical, and specialty mental health services) as well as subjective satisfaction with and perceived helpfulness of care in a national sample of Asian Americans, with a particular focus on immigration-related factors.


Data were derived from the National Latino and Asian American Study (2002-2003).


About 8.6% of the total sample (n=2095) sought any mental health-related services; 34.1% of individuals who had a probable diagnosis sought any services. Rates of mental health-related service use, subjective satisfaction, and perceived helpfulness varied by birthplace and by generation. US-born Asian Americans demonstrated higher rates of service use than did their immigrant counterparts. Third-generation or later individuals who had a probable diagnosis had high (62.6%) rates of service use in the previous 12 months.


Asian Americans demonstrated lower rates of any type of mental health-related service use than did the general population, although there are important exceptions to this pattern according to nativity status and generation status. Our results underscore the importance of immigration-related factors in understanding service use among Asian Americans.

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