Preventing Filipino Mental Health Disparities: Perspectives from Adolescents, Caregivers, Providers, and Advocates

Asian Am J Psychol. 2014 Dec;5(4):316-324. doi: 10.1037/a0036479.


Filipino Americans are the second largest immigrant population and second largest Asian ethnic group in the U.S. Disparities in youth behavioral health problems and the receipt of mental health services among Filipino youth have been documented previously. However, few studies have elicited perspectives from community stakeholders regarding how to prevent mental health disparities among Filipino youth. The purpose of the current study is to identify intervention strategies for implementing mental health prevention programs among Filipino youth. We conducted semi-structured interviews (n=33) with adolescents, caregivers, advocates, and providers and focus groups (n=18) with adolescents and caregivers. Interviews were audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analyzed using a methodology of "coding consensus, co-occurrence, and comparison" and was rooted in grounded theory. Four recommendations were identified when developing mental health prevention strategies among Filipino populations: address the intergenerational gap between Filipino parents and children, provide evidence-based parenting programs, collaborate with churches in order to overcome stigma associated with mental health, and address mental health needs of parents. Findings highlight the implementation of evidence-based preventive parenting programs in faith settings as a community-identified and culturally appropriate strategy to prevent Filipino youth behavioral health disparities.

Keywords: Filipino; health status disparities; mental health; prevention.