Asian Americans constitute the third-largest and the fastest-growing minority group in the United States, with a population of 10.2 to 11.9 million in Census 2000. It is a heterogeneous group that includes at least 43 ethnic subgroups with different languages and dialects, immigration patterns, and religious beliefs; varying socioeconomic status; and different traditional patterns of seeking health care. These social and cultural variables affect Asian Americans' help-seeking behaviors, development of psychiatric disorders, manifestation of psychiatric symptoms, treatment strategies, compliance, and outcomes. This article reviews experiences of Asian Americans relevant to their mental health, including migration patterns to the United States, socioeconomic status, and cultural variables. It proposes educational objectives in the assessment and treatment of Asian-American patients that are essential for the training of psychiatric residents. In particular, it addresses special considerations in implementation of a psychiatric curriculum directed to the care of Asian-American psychiatric patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health