Model minority stereotype and the diagnosis of alcohol use disorders: Implications for practitioners working with Asian Americans

J Ethn Subst Abuse. Jul-Sep 2018;17(3):255-272. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2016.1175990. Epub 2016 May 26.


This study investigated the priming effects of the model minority stereotype on 122 clinicians in training regarding their diagnostic accuracy on Asian Americans compared to Whites. It was hypothesized that clinicians in training would be less likely to diagnose Asian Americans with alcohol use disorder and would perceive them to have fewer clinical symptoms than Whites due to the model minority stereotype. Consistent with the hypotheses, clinicians in training were less likely to assign alcohol use disorder to Asian Americans compared to Whites, as well as to the unprimed condition versus the condition primed with the stereotype. Implications regarding cultural competence and future research are discussed.

Keywords: Alcohol use; Asian American; diagnostic bias; model minority; stereotype.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis*
  • Alcoholism / ethnology*
  • Asian Americans*
  • Cultural Competency*
  • Culturally Competent Care / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stereotyping*
  • Whites* / ethnology
  • Young Adult