Discrimination and mental health-related service use in a national study of Asian Americans

Am J Public Health. 2010 Dec;100(12):2410-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.176321. Epub 2010 Mar 18.


Objectives: We examined the association between perceived discrimination and use of mental health services among a national sample of Asian Americans.

Methods: Our data came from the National Latino and Asian American Study, the first national survey of Asian Americans. Our sample included 600 Chinese, 508 Filipinos, 520 Vietnamese, and 467 other Asians (n=2095). We used logistic regression to examine the association between discrimination and formal and informal service use and the interactive effect of discrimination and English language proficiency.

Results: Perceived discrimination was associated with more use of informal services, but not with less use of formal services. Additionally, higher levels of perceived discrimination combined with lower English proficiency were associated with more use of informal services.

Conclusions: The effect of perceived discrimination and language proficiency on service use indicates a need for more bilingual services and more collaborations between formal service systems and community resources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Asian / psychology*
  • Asian / statistics & numerical data
  • Communication Barriers
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Perception
  • Prejudice*
  • United States