Investigating the myth of the "model minority": a participatory community health assessment of Chinese and Vietnamese adults

J Immigr Minor Health. 2012 Oct;14(5):850-7. doi: 10.1007/s10903-011-9517-y.


Despite the persistent belief that Asians are the "model minority" there is accumulating evidence of health concerns within Asian subgroups. In this study, we implemented a cross-sectional participatory community health assessment in an urban city in Massachusetts, to understand differences and similarities in demographics, health and healthcare access in Chinese and Vietnamese adults. We gathered qualitative data from community stakeholders to inform the development of a community health assessment tool. The tool elicited information on healthcare access, health status, behavioral health and chronic disease history and treatment. Healthcare access issues and poor health status, particularly among Chinese participants and mental health symptomotology in both groups were areas of concern. These findings revealed important health concerns in two Asian ethnic groups. Studies are needed to better understand these concerns and inform programs and policies to improve health outcomes in these Asian ethnic groups.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian*
  • China / ethnology
  • Chronic Disease / ethnology
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Mental Health / ethnology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vietnam / ethnology
  • Young Adult