Social Work Asian Americans
Rowena Fong
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 May 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0126


The 2000 US Census subdivides Asian Americans into groupings of persons whose ethnic roots are from countries in East Asia (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea), Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Burma, Philippines, and Thailand) and South Asia (India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bhutan).

Introductory Works

Asian Americans are persons grounded in the history of their Asian ancestral people. First-generation immigrants play a role in the generational health and mental health, psychological and social well-being of people of all ages. Historical accounts (Charney and Hernandez 1998) deal with socioeconomic, health, and acculturation issues for Asian families. History also presents itself in political and social contexts (Chan 2006). Understanding contexts explained through history, culture, and adaptation is necessary for intervention programs, policy, and practice (Furuto, et al. 1992). Stressors, ethnic identity, psychopathology, and the underuse of mental health services are all examples of challenges this populations faces (Uba 2003). Psychological and diversity issues affect women, children, adolescents, adults, and elderly persons (Choi 2001). Such issues relate to Chinese international adoptions, Filipino American dating violence, Vietnamese American premigration traumatic experiences, and elderly Korean immigrants’ stress and coping as well as depression. In providing prevention and intervention services to immigrants and refugees, culturally competent practice is needed (Fong 2007).

  • Chan, S. 2006. The Vietnamese American 1.5 generation: Stories of war, revolution, flight, and new beginnings. Asian American History and Culture. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press.

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    Presents a history of Vietnam in historical, social, and political contexts. This book provides vivid personal narratives of the 1.5 generation of Vietnamese Americans, as well as lists of useful information, such as a bibliography and videos. It will be useful for those wanting to understand Vietnamese Americans.

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  • Charney, E., and D. J. Hernandez. 1998. From generation to generation: The health and well-being of children in immigrant families. Washington, DC: National Academies.

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    Explores socioeconomic status, health status, and acculturation of white, black, Hispanic, and Asian children from many countries. It also deals with strengths and weaknesses of immigrant children and their families. This book provides information about their lives and is a good source for policymakers in need of more understanding of these ethnic groups and national origins.

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  • Choi, N., ed. 2001. Psychosocial aspects of the Asian American experience: Diversity within diversity. New York: Haworth.

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    Reviews psychological issues of Asian American women, children, adolescents, young adults, and elderly persons related to adoption, academic achievement, depression, social integration and coherence, dating violence, mental health, acculturation, and substance abuse treatment.

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  • Fong, R. 2007. Cultural competence with Asian Americans. In Culturally competent practice: A framework for understanding diverse groups and justice issues. 3d ed. Edited by D. Lum, 328–350. Social Work Practice with Children and Families. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

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    Reviews demographics and group diversity within the Asian and Pacific Islander groups. Historical oppression and current social issues such as racist attitudes and behaviors toward Asian Americans are discussed, as are cultural awareness, knowledge acquisition, and skill development—all useful knowledge for working with Asian American clients. The skill areas of engagement, assessment, empowerment, and advocacy are all emphasized in this chapter.

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  • Furuto, S., R. Biswas, D. Chung, K. Murase, and F. Ross-Sheriff. 1992. Social work practice with Asian Americans. SAGE Sourcebooks for the Human Services. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.

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    Covers history, culture, and adaptation of Asian Americans to provide the contexts for micro- and macro-level interventions. Programs, policies, and practices as well as life cycles are discussed.

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  • Uba, L. 2003. Asian Americans: Personality patterns, identity, and mental health. New York: Guilford.

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    Focuses on culture and race, personality patterns, ethnic identity, stress, psychopathology, and the underuse of mental health services.

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Clinical Works

Seeking outside help and visiting a clinician may bring pressure to Asian Americans, who are anxious to avoid a “loss of face” and shame to the family (Lee 2000). But clinical work needs to be grounded in Asian cultural values and to respect family structure, norms, roles, and function (Jung 1998). An understanding of clients’ migration experiences, contexts, and social environments is as important as understanding their problems of poverty, depression, discrimination, and need for jobs and language skills (Fong 2004; Trinh, et al. 2009).

  • Fong, R. 2004. Overview of immigrant and refugee children and families. In Culturally competent practice with immigrant and refugee children and families. Edited by R. Fong, 1–18.New York: Guilford.

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    Reviews the demographics and diversity among immigrant and refugee populations. Emphasizes the contexts and social environments that distinguish different groups of immigrants and refugees, highlighting their migration journeys, cultural values, and problems such as poverty, discrimination, joblessness, deficient language skills, role reversal with children, and restrictive immigration laws.

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  • Jung, M. 1998. Chinese American family therapy: A new model for clinicians. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Offers a family therapy model grounded in Chinese culture, norms, beliefs, and protocol. Advocates the need for a paradigm shift from Western to Chinese culture. Gives case examples related to child abuse and mental health issues.

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  • Lee, E., ed. 2000. Working with Asian Americans: A guide for clinicians. New York: Guilford.

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    Provides guidelines for clinical practice with Asian Americans, covering work with families, life cycle problems, mental health diagnoses, treatment modalities, and special issues such as LGBT issues, women’s issues, intermarriage, domestic violence, Chinese Buddhism, and cross-cultural communication.

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  • Trinh, N., Y. Rho, F. Lu, and K. Sanders, eds. 2009. Handbook of mental health and acculturation in Asian American families. Current Clinical Psychiatry. New York: Humana.

    DOI: 10.1007/978-1-60327-437-1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Handbook covers theories, measurements, and clinical issues grounded in research on mental health and acculturation among Asian American families. Assessing the Asian American family; understanding migration and resettlement history; and working with children, adolescents, and elderly are all covered in this handbook.

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Reference Resources

These reference resources cover the range of issues related to disparities, policies, mental health, research, and academia. The university-based Asian American Center on Disparities Research offers evidence-based research on mental health issues, identity development, suicide, and marital violence. The UCLA Asian American Studies department, also university-based, publishes academic journals and books on Asian American issues. The Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at Cambridge Health Alliance provides nationwide information Asian Americans’ and Latinos’ use of mental health services. Policies issues are addressed in both the Asian American/Asian Research Institute and the South Asian American Policy and Research Institute. One source of funding for Asian American research is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-based practice issues are covered in this section, in the areas of identity, mental health, domestic violence, family relations, health, economic hardship, substance abuse, and education. These categories are applied to the various Asian American ethnic groups, including Americans of Chinese, Vietnamese, Asian Indian, Southeast Asian, and Japanese descent.


Identity issues encompass both ethnic identity and psychosocial functioning (Juang, et al. 2006), ethnic/racial identity and acculturation (Iwamasa and Yamada 2001), transnationalism and identity (Kibria 2006), culture orientation in Asian American adolescents (Ying, et al. 2008), served or sustained attachments (Rumbaut 2006), differential dimensional constructs of being Chinese/American (Tsai, et al. 2000), Vietnamese Americans and transnationalism (Espiritu and Tran 2006), and gender roles and cultural continuity in Asian Indian immigrant communities (Dasgupta 1998).

  • Dasgupta, S. D. 1998. Gender roles and cultural continuity in the Asian Indian immigrant community in the U.S. Sex Roles 38:953–974.

    DOI: 10.1023/A:1018822525427Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the relationship between anxiety among both generations (immigrants and their children) and attitudes toward women’s roles and dating. Reports that both generations share similar attitudes toward women’s roles. However, the second generation supports gender equality more than do their elders. In terms of dating, sons are the most accepting and mothers the least accepting.

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    • Espiritu, Y. L., and T. Tran. 2006. “Việt Nam, Nủớc Tôi” (Vietnam, my country): Vietnamese Americans and transnationalism. In The changing face of home: The transnational lives of the second generation. Edited by P. Levitt and M. C. Waters, 367–398. New York: Russell Sage.

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      Examines the ways in which young Vietnamese Americans perceive Vietnam, their responsibilities toward it, and their perspective on the role of their ethnic identity in America. Reports that young Vietnamese Americans are struggling with acculturation issues. However, they show a strong attachment to Vietnam, even though they do not have much knowledge about the country. A helpful resource for those wanting to learn about Vietnamese Americans.

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    • Iwamasa, G., and A. Yamada. 2001. Asian American acculturation and ethnic/racial identity: Research renovations in the new millennium. In Special Issue: Asian American Acculturation and Ethnic Racial Identity: Research Innovations in the New Millennium. Edited by Gayle Y. Iwamasa and Ann Marie Yamada. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 7.3: 203–206.

      DOI: 10.1037/1099-9809.7.3.203Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Part of a special issue on Asian American acculturation and racial/ethnic identity.

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      • Juang, L. P., H. H. Nguyen, and Y. Lin. 2006. The ethnic identity, other-group attitudes, and psychosocial functioning of Asian American emerging adults from two contexts. Journal of Adolescent Research 21.5: 542–568.

        DOI: 10.1177/0743558406291691Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        Examines how the ethnic identity and other-group attitudes influence psychosocial functioning (e.g., depression, self-esteem, and connectedness to parents) of Asian American young adults. It reports that for Asians with an ethnically concentrated context, ethnic identity is often a reason for depression and connectedness to parents.

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        • Kibria, N. 2006. Of blood, belonging, and homeland trips: Transnationalism and identity among second-generation Chinese and Korean Americans. In The changing face of home: The transnational lives of the second-generation. Edited by P. Levitt and M. C. Waters, 295–311. New York: Russell Sage.

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          Examines ethnic identity among second generation Chinese Americans and Korean Americans. Sixty-four Chinese and Korean Americans were interviewed. Their trips to the homelands made them understand the values of Chinese and Korean membership. It also made them overcome “the racial barriers” in America.

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          • Rumbaut, Rubén G. 2006. Severed or sustained attachments? Language, identity, and imagined communities in the post-immigrant generation. In The changing face of home: The transnational lives of the second-generation. Edited by P. Levitt and M. C. Waters, 43–95. New York: Russell Sage.

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            Explores the subjective and objective transnational attachments of a multicultural sample of second-generation young adults from Mexico, the Philippines, Vietnam, China, and other Latin and Asian countries. It is a longitudinal study. It reports that language, religious involvement, and legal and financial wherewithal are critical to maintaining transnational attachments for second-generation young adults.

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          • Tsai, J. L., Y. W. Ying, and P. A. Lee. 2000. The meaning of “being Chinese” and “being American”: Variation among Chinese American young adults. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 31.3: 302–332.

            DOI: 10.1177/0022022100031003002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            Explains different dimensional constructs in terms of “being Chinese” and “being American.” Three hundred fifty-three Chinese American college students were investigated. It reports that American-born Chinese and immigrant Chinese young adults shape different constructs of identity. It emphasizes the importance of cultural sensitivity among clinicians.

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            • Ying, Y. W., M. Han, and S. L. Wong. 2008. Cultural orientation in Asian American adolescents: Variation by age and ethnic density. Youth Society 39.4: 507–523.

              DOI: 10.1177/0044118X06296683Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              Examines the variations in cultural orientation in terms of age, ethnicity, birthplace, gender, and socioeconomic status. Chinese and Southeast Asian adolescents were investigated. It reports that Chinese Americans have more of an attachment to Chinese and less of an orientation toward learning American English than do their Southeast Asian American peers. Moreover, American-born adolescents are more fluent in English and have more ethnic pride.

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              Mental Health

              Asian Americans may have barriers and problems in using mental health services and programs (Kung 2004; Spencer and Chen 2004; Akutsu, et al. 2007; Kim, et al. 2007). Those who do receive services might challenge family cohesion and generational status (Ta, et al. 2010). Psychological maladjustment (Abe and Zane 1990), psychiatric disorders (Breslau and Chang 2006), depression/ depressive symptoms (Hwang, et al. 2005), attachment and sense of coherence (Ying, et al. 2007), and an intergenerational gap in acculturation (Ying and Han 2007) are all problems faced by Asian Americans. But help-seeking behaviors and attitudes toward psychological problems need to be noted (Ying and Miller 1992).

              • Abe, J. S., and N. W. S. Zane. 1990. Psychological maladjustment among Asian and White American college students: Controlling for confounds. Journal of Counseling Psychology 37.4: 437–444.

                DOI: 10.1037/0022-0167.37.4.437Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Examines differences in psychological maladjustment among foreign-born Asian, US-born Asian, and white American college students. Foreign-born Asian American students have a higher level of psychological maladjustment than do white Americans. The article also reports that there are ethnic and generational differences in psychological maladjustment among Asian Americans. This article encourages clinicians’ cultural sensitivity.

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                • Akutsu, P. D., E. D. Castillo, and L. R. Snowden. 2007. Differential referral patterns to ethnic-specific and mainstream mental health programs for four Asian American groups. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 77.1: 95–103.

                  DOI: 10.1037/0002-9432.77.1.95Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  This study examines referral patterns of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Korean Americans in ethnic-specific versus mainstream mental health systems and found that community-based services and friends/family referred these groups to ethnic-specific programs more often than did other referral sources such as criminal justice and health services. Suggests that Asian clients and their social networks may view such programs as more culturally responsive.

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                  • Breslau, J. F., and D. Chang. 2006. Psychiatric disorders among foreign-born and US-born Asian Americans in a US national survey. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 41.12:943–950.

                    DOI: 10.1007/s00127-006-0119-2Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    Examines differences in risk of psychiatric disorders between foreign-born and US-born Asian Americans. 1,236 Asian Americans were analyzed. Breslau and Chang report that foreign-born Asian Americans have a lower risk of psychiatric disorders than do their native-born counterparts. The article points out that the risk of psychiatric disorder increases with the length of residence in the United States. It suggests that mental health services need to address this issue.

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                    • Hwang, W. C., C. A. Chun, D. T. Takeuchi, H. F. Myers, and P. Siddarth. 2005. Age of first onset of major depression in Chinese Americans. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 11.1: 16–27.

                      DOI: 10.1037/1099-9809.11.1.16Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      Examines an initial episode of major depression and its risks. The authors point out that acculturative stresses may increase the risk of depression among immigrants. 1,747 Chinese immigrants and native-born Americans were investigated. The authors also report that Chinese Americans who came to the United States at a later age are more likely to be depressed than those who arrived at a younger age.

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                      • Kim, J., J. Abe-Kim, D. T. Takeuchi, S. Hong, N. Zane, S. Sue, M. S. Spencer, H. Appel, E. Nicdao, and M. Alegría. 2007. Use of mental health–related services among immigrant and US-born Asian Americans: Results from National Latino and Asian study. American Journal of Public Health 97.1: 91–98.

                        DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2006.098541Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        Examined rates of mental health service use based on National Latino and Asian Study (2002–2003). Found less than 10 percent of the total sample (n=2095) sought and used mental health services. US-born Asian Americans had higher rates of use than did those born in other countries.

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                        • Kung, W. 2004. Cultural and practical barriers to seeking mental health treatment for Chinese Americans. Journal of Community Psychology 32.1:27–43.

                          DOI: 10.1002/jcop.10077Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          Examined perceived barriers to mental health and finds practical barriers (cost of treatment, time, access, language) and cultural barriers (credibility, fear of loss of face). Study examined the empirical link between perceived barriers and actual mental health service use, based on a sample of 1,747 clients from the Chinese American Psychiatric Epidemiology Study.

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                          • Spencer, M. S., and J. Chen. 2004. Discrimination and mental health–related service use in a national study of Asian Americans. American Journal of Public Health 94.5: 809–814.

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                            Examines the association between discrimination and mental health service use among a representative sample of Chinese Americans using data from the two-wave Chinese American Psychiatric Epidemiological Survey. Authors found that language-based discrimination and negative attitudes of participants toward mental health services were associated with greater use of informal services. The article also addresses implications for service providers and policymakers.

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                            • Ta, V. M., P. Holck, and G. C. Gee. 2010. Generational status and family cohesion effects on the receipt of mental health services among Asian Americans: Findings from the National Latino and Asian American Study. American Journal of Public Health 100.1: 115–121.

                              DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.160762Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              This study examines the strength of generational status and family cohesion in relation to the use of mental health services among Asian Americans, using data from the National Latino and Asian American Study. The influence of generational status on the use of mental health services was significant and varied with the extent of family cohesion. The study highlights the need for mental health screening and targeting families with weaker support systems.

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                              • Ying, Y. W., and M. Han. 2007. The longitudinal effect of intergenerational gap in acculturation on conflict and mental health in Southeast Asian American adolescents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 77.1: 61–66.

                                DOI: 10.1037/0002-9432.77.1.61Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                This secondary data analysis determines whether intergenerational conflict would mediate the effect of the perceived discrepancy between acculturation and symptoms of depression among Southeast Asian American adolescents. Four-hundred ninety cases from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study were analyzed. Findings show that the effect of the perceived discrepancy between degree of acculturation and symptoms of depression was indeed mediated by intergenerational conflict.

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                                • Ying, Y. W., and L. S. Miller. 1992. Help-seeking behavior and attitude of Chinese Americans regarding psychological problems. American Journal of Community Psychology 20.4: 549–556.

                                  DOI: 10.1007/BF00937758Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  Examines the differences in help-seeking attitudes among Chinese Americans. Assumes that mental health status, acculturation level, and sociodemographic characteristics impact help-seeking behaviors and attitudes. Reports that many Chinese Americans have mental illness but do not seek professional help.

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                                  • Ying, Y. W., P. A. Lee, and J. L. Tsai. 2007. Attachment, sense of coherence, and mental health among Chinese American college students: Variation by migration status. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 31.5: 531–544.

                                    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2007.01.001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    This study used sense of coherence as a mediator of attachment to family and the challenge posed by college education, and how these influenced the level of depression in a sample of 353 Chinese American college students. A battery of five self-report assessments was administered to participants. Results and treatment implications are discussed.

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                                    Domestic Violence

                                    The study of domestic violence is rife with problems of violence against immigrant women (Raj and Silverman 2002 and Raj and Silverman 2003), spousal physical/intimate violence (Yick 2000), partner violence and major depression (Hicks and Li 2003). Research on methodological issues is needed (Yick and Berthold 2005). Strength and safety (Yoshihama 2000) and coping strategies (Yoshihama 2002) are also explored.

                                    • Hicks, M. H. R., and Z. Li. 2003. Partner violence and major depression in women: A community study of Chinese Americans. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 191.11: 722–729.

                                      DOI: 10.1097/01.nmd.0000095124.05023.e1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      This cross-sectional, retrospective study used epidemiological and anthropological methods to examine partner violence and depression in Chinese American women. Using a study sample of 181 women, the authors found that a history of partner violence is associated with higher rates of depression. A relationship between partner violence and severity of depression was indicated, along with a risk of more severe episodes.

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                                      • Raj, A., and J. G. Silverman. 2002. Violence against immigrant women: The roles of culture, context, and legal immigrant status on intimate partner violence. Violence Against Women 8.3: 367–398.

                                        DOI: 10.1177/10778010222183107Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        This paper’s review of the literature on intimate partner violence against immigrant women finds little data. Findings identify three factors—immigrant women’s culture, contexts, and legal status—that 1) increase vulnerability to abuse, 2) are used to control and abuse, and 3) create barriers to seeking and receiving help. Also identifies resiliency patterns that can help serve these populations.

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                                        • Raj, A., and J. G. Silverman. 2003. Immigrant South Asian women at greater risk for injury from intimate partner violence. American Journal of Public Health 93.3: 435–437.

                                          DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.93.3.435Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          Examines factors related to intimate partner violence among immigrant South Asian women using a snowball sampling of immigrant women. Findings show that social isolation and lack of awareness of available services prevent victims from seeking help and suggest that immigration may increase women’s risk of suffering partner violence.

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                                          • Yick, A. G. 2000. Predictors of spousal physical/intimate violence in Chinese American families. Journal of Family Violence 15.3: 249–267.

                                            DOI: 10.1023/A:1007501518668Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            Examines predictors of intimate violence among Chinese Americans based on structured telephone interviews with 262 participants from Los Angeles County. Findings showed that gender role beliefs were not related to physical violence; acculturation and employment status significantly predicted severe violence and minor physical violence, respectively. Implications for social work practice and research are discussed.

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                                            • Yick, A. G., and M. S. Berthold. 2005. Conducting research in violence in Asian American communities: Methodological issues. Violence and Victims 20.6: 661–677.

                                              DOI: 10.1891/vivi.20.6.661Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Discusses challenges related to conducting culturally competent research on violence in Asian American communities. Issues addressed include culture, race, and cultural definitions of concepts, as well as methodological issues. Examples were provided based on authors’ research on community violence in the Khmer and Chinese American communities. Recognizes collaboration with community and cultural experts as vital to process.

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                                              • Yoshihama, M. 2000. Reinterpreting strength and safety in a socio-cultural context: Dynamics of domestic violence and experiences of women of Japanese descent. Children and Youth Services Review 22.3:207–229.

                                                DOI: 10.1016/S0190-7409(00)00076-1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                Explores dynamics of domestic violence and experiences of women of Japanese descent in a sociocultural context. A qualitative study, it focuses on women who are in abusive relationships. The value of endurance, conflict avoidance, and acceptance of male domination impede women’s recognition of violence as abusive. It discusses the importance of the understanding of the interactions of the different sociocultural contexts on women who experience domestic violence.

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                                                • Yoshihama, M. 2002. Battered women’s coping strategies and psychological distress: Differences by immigration status. American Journal of Community Psychology 30.3: 429–452.

                                                  DOI: 10.1023/A:1015393204820Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  This article examines coping strategies and psychological distress level among 129 Japanese women who have experienced partner violence. One result was that Japan-born women are less likely to use active strategies in this context. However, US-born Japanese women reported diametrically opposite results. The authors include recommendations based on symptoms practitioners should recognize to provide effective services to these women.

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                                                  Family Relationships

                                                  Aspects of family relationships discussed in this section include intermarriage and assimilation (Fu and Hatfield 2008), child sexual abuse (Futa, et al. 2001), parent-child relationships (Dinh and Nyugen 2006; Russell, et al. 2010), parenting styles (Chao 2001), and perceptions of good adolescents and good parents (Xiong, et al. 2005), as well as cultural transmission and ethnic identity (Inman 2007).

                                                  • Chao, R. K. 2001. Extending research on the consequences of parenting style for Chinese Americans and European Americans. Child Development 72.6: 1832–1843.

                                                    DOI: 10.1111/1467-8624.00381Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    Explores why authoritative parenting styles are less beneficial for Asian Americans than for European Americans. Five hundred participants were measured in terms of parenting styles, parent-child closeness, and school performance. Results were positive for both authoritative parenting styles and relationship closeness, though differences exist among first-generation Chinese.

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                                                    • Dinh, K. T., and H. H. Nguyen. 2006. The effects of acculturative variables on Asian American parent-child relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 23.3: 407–426.

                                                      DOI: 10.1177/0265407506064207Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      Examines the impacts of acculturation and the perceived parent-child acculturative gap on the quality of Asian American parent-child relationships. Reports that the perceived parent-child acculturative gap reveals much about the mother-child relationship. In the father-child relationship, the level of acculturation and the perceived parent-child acculturative gap are also important. A helpful resource to gain an understanding of parent-child relationships among Asian Americans.

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                                                      • Fu, X., and M. Hatfield. 2008. Intermarriage and segmented assimilation: U.S.-born Asians in 2000. Journal of Asian American Studies 11.3: 249–277.

                                                        DOI: 10.1353/jaas.0.0018Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Examines the assimilation of Asian Americans through intermarriage based on Portes and Zhou’s assimilation theory. Using data from Census 2000 PUMS 5 percent national sample data on found that Indians were least likely to marry outside of their ethnic group, while Filipinos were most likely. Asians show selective outmarriage by group and by gender. Implications on research findings discussed.

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                                                        • Futa, K. T., E. Hsu, and D. J. Hansen. 2001. Child sexual abuse in Asian American families: An examination of cultural factors that influence prevalence, identification, and treatment. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 8.2: 189–209.

                                                          DOI: 10.1093/clipsy/8.2.189Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          Reviews the current research prevalence, identification, and treatment of sexual abuse of Asian American children. Multiple topics (e.g., collectivity, conformity, shame, fatalism) among Asian American values are explored. Attitudes toward family, sexuality, and mental health services system, as well as cultural and institutional barriers towards seeking services, are discussed. Suggestions for overcoming barriers are offered.

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                                                          • Inman, A. G., E. E. Howard, R. L. Beaumont, and J. A. Walker. 2007. Cultural transmission: Influence of contextual factors in Asian Indian immigrant parents’ experiences. Journal of Counseling Psychology 54.1: 93–100.

                                                            DOI: 10.1037/0022-0167.54.1.93Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            This qualitative study examined sixteen first-generation parents about the influence of immigration on the retention of their ethnic identify and ability to promote the importance of their ethnic identify to their children. Results identified numerous factors influencing cultural identify and retention. The implications of these research findings are also discussed.

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                                                            • Russell, S., L. Crockett, and R. Chao. 2010. Introduction: Asian American parenting and parent-adolescent relationships. Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development. New York: Springer.

                                                              DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-5728-3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              Covers Asian American parent-child relationships, the meaning of parenting practices, and parenting styles in Asian American families. Focuses on equivalents of survey measures of parenting, cultural differences in parenting beliefs, and conceptualization of parental support and children’s autonomy.

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                                                            • Xiong, Z. B., P. A. Eliason, D. F. Detznerand, and M. J. Cleveland. 2005. Southeast Asian immigrants’ perceptions of good adolescents and good parents. Journal of Psychology 139.2: 159–175.

                                                              DOI: 10.3200/JRLP.139.2.159-175Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              Examines the perception of being a good parent and being a good adolescent from parents’ and adolescents’ viewpoints. Reports that the percentage of agreement between the parents and adolescents on what they think is a good adolescent is higher than the percentage of agreement on what they think is a good parent.

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                                                              Overall health, acculturation, and smoking behaviors (Barnes, et al. 2008; Choi, et al. 2008; Ma, et al. 2004) are examined, as well as cancer (McCracken, et al. 2007). There is effort to reduce liver cancer disparities (Hsu 2007) and discern between discriminating and chronic health conditions (Gee, et al. 2007).

                                                              • Barnes, P. M., P. F. Adams, and E. Powell-Griner. 2008. Health characteristics of the Asian adult population: United States, 2004–2006. Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics 394: 1–22.

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                                                                Compares a large number of health characteristics among non-Hispanic Asian adult subgroups with other ethnic and white populations using data from the National Health Interview Survey. Results indicated that Asian subgroups overall report better health status indicators compared to other racial groups. Differences in health status within the Asian subgroups are also reported.

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                                                                • Choi, S., S. Rankin, A. Stewart, and R. Oka. 2008. Effects of acculturation on smoking behavior in Asian Americans: A meta-analysis. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 23.1: 67–73.

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                                                                  Examines the impacts of acculturation on smoking behaviors of Asian Americans. It encompasses nine cross-sectional studies. The authors report that acculturated men are less likely to smoke than nonacculturated men. However, women and adolescents show an opposite pattern. Authors discuss the importance of understanding the acculturation status and smoking behaviors of Asian Americans.

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                                                                  • Gee, G. C., M. S. Spencer, J. Chen, and D. Takeuchi. 2007. A nationwide study of discrimination and chronic health conditions among Asian Americans. American Journal of Public Health 97.7: 1275–1282.

                                                                    DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2006.091827Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Examines whether everyday discrimination was associated with chronic health conditions among Asian Americans, using regression analyses on representative sample data taken from a national dataset. Results showed that everyday discrimination was associated with many chronic health conditions and indicators of heart disease, pain, and respiratory illness. Differences between Asian subgroups also presented.

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                                                                    • Hsu, C. E., L. C. H. Liu, H. S. Juon, Y. W. Chiu, J. Bawa, U. Tillman, M. Li, J. Miller, and M. Q. Wang. 2007. Reducing liver cancer disparities: A community-based hepatitis-B prevention program for Asian-American communities. Journal of the National Medical Association 99.8: 900–907.

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                                                                      Examines the knowledge of hepatitis B prevention among nine Asian communities before and after a hepatitis B educational program and determines the infection status of an Asian community. Results showed improved knowledge and higher infection rates among certain Southern Asian ethnicities and older age groups (36–45). Implications for prevention interventions discussed.

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                                                                      • Ma, G. X., Y. Tan, J. I. Toubbeh, X. Su, S. E. Shive, and Y. Lan. 2004. Acculturation and smoking behavior in Asian-American populations. Health Education Research 19.6: 615–625.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/her/cyg070Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        Examines the relationship between acculturation and smoking behavior among Asian-American populations. This study is a cross-sectional self-report survey; 1,141 Asian Americans (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Cambodian) were investigated. Youth and females show positive relationships between acculturation level and smoking. Males show the opposite relationship. Authors address the importance of developing effective programs and interventions.

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                                                                        • McCracken, M., M. Olsen, M. S. Chen Jr., A. Jemal, M. Thun, V. Cokkinides, D. Deapen, and E. Ward. 2007. Cancer incidence, mortality, and associated risk factors among Asian Americans of Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese ethnicities. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 57.4:190–205.

                                                                          DOI: 10.3322/canjclin.57.4.190Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          This article summarizes cancer incidence rates, mortality patterns, and risk factors for Asian American ethnic groups in California. Analyses focused on the four most common cancers and three bodily sites common to Asian Americans. Differences in incidence and mortality for five Asian subgroups are described. Implications for cancer control planning are discussed.

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                                                                          Substance Abuse

                                                                          For Asian men as a distinct group who use substances, there are questions about masculine norms, coping strategies, and peer group influences (Liu and Iwamoto 2007). Patterns of substance use among Asian American and Pacific Islander sexual minority adolescents have also been examined (Hahm, et al. 2008).

                                                                          Economic Hardship

                                                                          Economic hardship among Asian Americans requires adaptation (Ishii-Kuntz, et al. 2009) and an examination of alternative measures of social advantage (de Castro, et al. 2009). Socioeconomic attainments (Sakamoto, et al. 2009), welfare reform (Capps, et al. 2002), and adjusting to life circumstances (Hernandez 2004) are all concerns.

                                                                          • Capps, R., L. Ku, M. Fix, C. Furgiuele, J. Passel, R. Ramchand, Scott McNiven, and Dan Perez-Lopez. 2002. How are immigrants faring after welfare reform? Preliminary evidence from Los Angeles and New York City. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

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                                                                            Explores the living circumstances of immigrant families in the context of welfare reform. Compared to native-born families, the immigrant families experience economic hardship, even though they have relatively higher employment rates. This report suggests the importance of studying native-born children in immigrant families because they experience economic hardship together with their families.

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                                                                            • de Castro, A. B., G. C. Gee, D. Takeuchi. 2009. Examining alternative measures of social disadvantage among Asian Americans: The relevance of economic opportunity, subjective social status, and financial strain for health. In Special Focus: Occupational and Environmental Health. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 12.5: 659–671.

                                                                              DOI: 10.1007/s10903-009-9258-3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Examines the association between economic opportunity, subjective social status, and financial strain on self-reported health, body mass index (BMI), and smoking status. Economic opportunity showed strongest relationship, followed by financial strain and social status. Findings suggest that other markers of socioeconomic position are related to morbidity and that the contribution of social disadvantage to poor health may be understated for Asians.

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                                                                              • Hernandez, D. J. 2004. Demographic change and the life circumstances of immigrant families. Future of Children 14.2: 17–47.

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                                                                                Explores demographic changes among immigrant families and their living circumstances. Compares living environments across various racial/ethnic groups and reports that children in immigrant families are less likely to have a working father and more likely to live in poverty. It is helpful to understand their living circumstances and develop programs to improve their overall well-being.

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                                                                                • Ishii-Kuntz, M., J. N. Gomel, B. J. Tinsley, and R. D. Parke. 2009. Economic hardship and adaptation among Asian American families. Journal of Family Issues 31.3:407–420.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1177/0192513X09351271Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Contrasts the model minority myth by looking at the effects of perceived economic hardships on coping behavior, family relations, family roles, and psychological well-being among Asian Americans. Findings indicate family roles and psychological well-being directly influenced by perception of economic distress. Based on a conceptual model with suggestions for future research.

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                                                                                  • Sakamoto, A., K. A. Goyette, and C. H. Kim. 2009. Socioeconomic attainments of Asian Americans. Annual Review of Sociology 35:255–276.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1146/annurev-soc-070308-115958Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Addresses the contradiction of the majority-minority paradigm that Asian Americans have higher socioeconomic characteristics (on a par with whites) than do other racial ethnic minorities. Identifies favorable socioeconomic outcomes despite widespread discrimination and disadvantages. Other trends related to class resources and associated inequalities are also identified.

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                                                                                    Education is very important to Asian Americans, and there is a major stress on educational and/or occupational achievement (Portes and Fernandez-Kelly 2008, Zhou and Kim 2006). Relevant topics include adaptive performance patterns (Zusho, et al. 2005), disadvantaged earnings (Zeng and Xie 2004), educational crisis (Olsen 1997), model minority success (Ngo and Lee 2007), and middle class and wealth accumulation (Patraporn, et al. 2008).


                                                                                    Siu, et al. 2004 is a resourceful bibliography of works relevant to all matters pertaining to Asian and Pacific Americans, to be used in introductory and practice courses.

                                                                                    • Siu, Sau-Fong, Angela Lee, and Yuhwa Eva Lu, comps. 1995–2004. Asian and Pacific Americans: A selected bibliography, with annotations and teaching resources for social work educators. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

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                                                                                      This selective bibliography of more than seven hundred resources, encompassing 1995 to 2004, on social work practice with Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States, provides an extraordinary service for social work practice and the education community. Compiled as a resource guide for educators, it covers a wide range of social work topics in formats such as articles, books, book chapters, videos, and websites.

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