Faculty Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2015

Publication Title

Journal of College Student Development



Issue Number


First Page


Last Page





Social Work


According to the 2008 U.S. Census, there are 15.5 million Asian Americans in the United States, and 17% are students enrolled in a university (Shea & Yeh, 2008). Asian American college students in higher education are oftentimes perceived as the “model minority” with high academic achievements and few mental and/or behavioral problems (Park, 2010). In contrast to this general assumption, studies have shown that many Asian American college students suffer from psychological distress (Abe-Kim et al., 2007; Breaux, Matsuoka, & Ryujin, 1997; Lee et al., 2009; Mallinckrodt, Shigeoka, & Suzuki, 2005; Nguyen & Anderson, 2005). In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008) highlighted considerable disparities in mental health among racial/ethnic groups, including the fact that Asian Americans 15–24 years old have significantly higher suicidal rates than do other racial/ethnic groups of the same age range. Researchers have attributed this mental health disparity to Asian students’ underutilization of professional services. Consequently, a growing number of empirical studies have been conducted to identify the contributors to low mental health service utilization (Abe-Kim et al., 2007; Kim & Park, 2009; Lee et al., 2009; Nguyen & Anderson, 2005; Umemoto, 2004). These studies have found that acculturation, cultural barriers, and stigma attached to mental health problems are common factors that significantly contribute to Asian American college students’ low mental-health-seeking behaviors. However, based on the authors’ knowledge, these studies have focused on Asian American students who attend 4-year colleges. There is very little known about Asian American students attending 2-year community colleges, who comprise over 40% of Asian American undergraduates enrolled in higher education (Park, 2010).


This article appeared in the January 2015 issue of the Journal of College Student Development, Copyright © 2015 American College Personnel Association (ACPA), and can be found at this link.
SJSU users: use the following link to login and access the article via SJSU databases.

Included in

Social Work Commons