Perceptions of psychological distress of Chinese-American Christians by leaders in one urban Chinese-American congregation
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AbstractAsian Americans have been designated as model minorities and have been seen as underutilizing traditional mental health services and having a low rate of mental illnesses. A questionnaire consisting of quantitatively-scored items and qualitative questions wassentto200members of an urban Chinese-American church to assess their perceptions of causes of psychological distress and coping resources. Three focus groups were also conducted. It was hypothesized that Chinese-American Christians are struggling with prominent mental health issues, such as depression along with other issues relating to their cultural distinctness. It was further hypothesized that acculturation affects perceptions of needs and resources relating to mental health issues, and that spirituality is an asset in coping. Results confirmed that Chinese-Americans struggle with stress caused by cultural conflicts, intergenerational conflicts, parent-child conflicts, and conflicts between spiritual identity and cultural identity. Acculturation might result in increasing psychological mindedness, but does not necessarily correlate with openness in seeking help. Finally, spirituality was perceived as an important coping resource by respondents in this study.