Cross-Cultural Approaches to Mental Health Challenges Among Students

  • Xiaoqiao Zhang
  • Tat Shing Yeung
  • Yi Yang
  • Rohit M. Chandra
  • Cindy H. Liu
  • Dana Wang
  • Sukhmani K. Bal
  • Yun Zhu
  • Rebecca Nika W. Tsai
  • Zhenyu Zhang
  • Lusha Liu
  • Justin A. ChenEmail author
Part of the Current Clinical Psychiatry book series (CCPSY)


Hillary Clinton described Asian Americans as “among the most prosperous, well-educated, and successful ethnic groups in America.” This seemingly positive stereotype of the “model minority,” frequently promoted by the popular media, may in fact serve to obscure significant challenges faced by this population, particularly with regard to mental health. Issues such as depression and suicidality among Asian American and Asian international students in the United States have become increasingly recognized as major problems at both the high school and university levels, driven by a range of cross-cultural, psychological, familial, and systemic factors. In this chapter, we focus on depression in Asian American and Asian international students as one example of the unique mental health challenges faced by diverse populations in the United States. After outlining the background and context for the chapter, the available literature regarding prevalence of depression in Asian American and Asian international students is summarized. Next, contributing factors and correlates of depression in Asian American and Asian international students are reviewed. Finally, the founding of the MGH Center for Cross-Cultural Student Emotional Wellness is described as one innovative approach to tackling these complex challenges. Clinical recommendations based on the experience of the Center are offered to help foster greater cultural awareness when working with members of these populations.


Mental health Emotional wellness Depression MGH Center for Cross-Cultural Student Emotional Wellness Asian American International students 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoqiao Zhang
    • 1
  • Tat Shing Yeung
    • 2
  • Yi Yang
    • 3
  • Rohit M. Chandra
    • 4
  • Cindy H. Liu
    • 5
  • Dana Wang
    • 6
  • Sukhmani K. Bal
    • 7
  • Yun Zhu
    • 8
  • Rebecca Nika W. Tsai
    • 7
  • Zhenyu Zhang
    • 9
  • Lusha Liu
    • 10
    • 11
  • Justin A. Chen
    • 12
    Email author
  1. 1.The Pennsylvania State University, College of EducationState CollegeUSA
  2. 2.Northeastern University, Department of Applied PsychologyBostonUSA
  3. 3.Private Practice, Clinical PsychologyArlingtonUSA
  4. 4.Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of PsychiatryBostonUSA
  5. 5.Departments of Pediatric Newborn Medicine and PsychiatryBrigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  6. 6.Rivia Medical PLLCNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.Massachusetts General Hospital, Center for Cross-Cultural Student Emotional WellnessBostonUSA
  8. 8.Harvard Chan School of Public HealthCambridgeUSA
  9. 9.Boston University School of MedicineAllstonUSA
  10. 10.Private Practice, Adult PsychiatryBostonUSA
  11. 11.Department of PsychiatryNorthpoint Health and Wellness Center, Emotional Wellness and Behavior HealthMinneapolisUSA
  12. 12.Depression Clinical and Research Program, Department of PsychiatryMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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