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Cult Med Psychiatry. 1990 Sep;14(3):393-408.

Explanatory models of major depression and implications for help-seeking among immigrant Chinese-American women.

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  • 1School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


This study explores the explanatory models of major depression in a group of 40 recently immigrated Chinese-American women, and demonstrates the significant relationship between problem conceptualization and help-seeking behavior. Respondents are presented a vignette depicting major depression, from which they are asked to conceptualize the problem described and answer questions regarding its cause, impact and potential sources for help-seeking. Those who provide a psychological conceptualization are likely not to suggest professional services, but to turn to themselves and family and friends for assistance. On the other hand, those who hold a physical conceptualization are likely to seek out medical services. Implications for effective mental health service delivery to this population are discussed.

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