Objectives: We investigated the relative strengths of generational status and family cohesion effects on current use of mental health services (past 12 months) among Asian Americans.
Methods: We conducted a secondary data analysis with data from the National Latino and Asian American Study, 2002 to 2003, restricted to Asian American respondents (n=2087). The study's outcome was current use (past 12 months) of any mental health services. Respondents included Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, and other Asian Americans.
Results: Multivariate analyses suggest no significant interaction exists between second- versus first-generation Asian Americans and family cohesion. The impact of generational status on mental health service use was significant for third- or later-generation Asian Americans (versus first-generation Asian Americans) and varied with family cohesion score.
Conclusions: Family cohesion and generational status both affect the likelihood of Asian Americans to seek mental health services. Our findings also highlight the need for primary care and other providers to consistently screen for mental health status particularly among first-generation Asian Americans. Mental health service programs should target recent immigrants and individuals lacking a strong family support system.