Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 201–214 | Cite as

Barriers to Providing Effective Mental Health Services to Asian Americans

  • Frederick T. L. Leong
  • Anna S. L. Lau


Using the research framework recommended by L. Rogler, R. Malgady, and D. Rodriguez (1989), the current paper examines the barriers to providing effective mental health services to Asian Americans. Beginning with the recognition that Asian Americans consists of numerous heterogeneous subgroups, the issue of the stereotype of Asian Americans as the “model minority” was also discussed. The primary focus of the paper is on Stages 2, 3, and 4 within the Rogler et al. (1989) model and the identification and discussion of cultural factors that hinder the delivery of mental health services to Asian Americans. The paper is therefore organized into these three sections: (a) help-seeking or mental health service utilization, (b) evaluation of mental health problems, and (c) psychotherapeutic services. In each of the sections, not only are the barriers to delivery of effective mental health services discussed but so are the research and methodological problems as well as some directions for future research. This critical review of the literature has been prepared with the goal of serving as a “blueprint” for us to pursue rigorous but relevant research to identify and reduce these cultural barriers to providing effective mental health services to Asian Americans.

Asian Americans mental health services psychotherapy underutilization of services 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ohio State UniversityColumbus
  2. 2.Child and Adolescent Services Research CenterSan Diego

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