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Mental Health Needs of Biracial Asian Americans

womanA new study discovers the incidence of a psychological disorder among biracial Asian Americans are double the diagnosis rate of monoracial Asian Americans.

Researchers examined individuals of Chinese-Caucasian, Filipino-Caucasian, Japanese-Caucasian and Vietnamese-Caucasian descent.

“Up to 2.4 percent of the U.S. population self-identifies as mixed race, and most of these individuals describe themselves as biracial,” said Nolan Zane, a professor of psychology and Asian American studies at University of California- Davis.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of understanding the social, psychological and experiential differences that may increase the likelihood of psychological disorders among this fast-growing segment of the population.”

Zane and his co-investigator, UC Davis psychology graduate student Lauren Berger, found that 34 percent of biracial individuals in a national survey had been diagnosed with a psychological disorder, such as anxiety, depression or substance abuse, versus 17 percent of monoracial individuals.

The higher rate held up even after the researchers controlled for differences between the groups in age, gender and life stress, among other factors.

The study included information from 125 biracial Asian Americans from across the U.S., including 55 Filipino-Caucasians, 33 Chinese-Caucasians, 23 Japanese-Caucasians and 14 Vietnamese-Caucasians.

The information was obtained from the 2002-2003 National Latino and Asian American Study, the largest nationally representative survey ever conducted of Asian Americans.

Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the landmark survey involved in-person interviews with more than 2,000 Asian Americans nationwide. The survey yielded a wealth of raw data for researchers to analyze for insights into Asian American mental health.

Zane and Berger did not look at the mental health of non-Asian Americans.

Future research should investigate the factors that explain the higher rate of diagnosed psychological disorders among biracial Asian Americans, Zane said. Possibilities include influences of ethnic identification and experiences of ethnic discrimination.

Source: University of California – Davis

Mental Health Needs of Biracial Asian Americans

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Mental Health Needs of Biracial Asian Americans. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/08/19/mental-health-needs-of-biracial-asian-americans/2781.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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