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Cult Divers Ment Health. 1995;1(1):39-51.

Psychopathology among Asian Americans: a model minority?

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles 90024-1563, USA.


The prevalence of psychopathology among Asian Americans has been a source of debate. Some investigators believe that the prevalence rate is quite low, whereas others argue that it is fairly high. A review of the literature suggests that at this time, it is not possible to determine the specific rates of psychopathology. However, evidence does suggest that their rates of mental disorders are not extraordinarily low. Thus, public portrayals of Asian Americans as a well-adjusted group do not reflect reality. Attempts to determine the exact prevalence rates have been hindered by characteristics of the Asian American population, particularly its relatively small size, heterogeneity, and rapid changes in demographics. It is suggested that aggregate research, in which different Asian American groups are combined, is important for policy considerations, broad cultural comparisons, and establishing baseline information. To advance scientific contributions and understanding, studies that examine the correlates and course of disorders within specific Asian American groups are necessary as well.

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