Date of Award

8-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Dawn Szymanski

Committee Members

Brent Mallinckrodt, Jake Levy, Sharon Husch

Abstract

Stereotypes associated with Asian Americans are often positive as Asian Americans are viewed as the “model minority” group, with few problems. Endorsement of these stereotypes or belief in the Model Minority Stereotype might contribute to Asian American’s psychosocial distress and their attitudes toward seeking mental health services. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between endorsement of positive Asian stereotypes and subjective overachievement, psychological distress, well-being, and attitudes toward help seeking among 291 Asian Americans. In addition, it examined the potential moderating roles of endorsement of Asian stereotypes in relation to self, acculturation, and adherence to Asian values in the relationship between endorsement of positive Asian stereotypes and subjective overachievement, psychological distress, well-being, and attitudes toward help seeking. Results indicated that higher levels of endorsement of positive Asian stereotypes were related to greater subjective overachievement, more somatic complaints, higher levels of psychological distress, and less favorable attitudes toward help seeking. Endorsement of positive Asian stereotypes was not related to well-being. In addition there was no evidence for the moderating roles of endorsement of positive Asian stereotypes about self, acculturation, and adherence to Asian values, except in the case of somatic symptoms. These results indicated that acculturation to the U.S. moderated the relationship between endorsement of positive Asian stereotypes and somatic complaints, with significant risk being associated with low acculturation to the U.S.

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