The Effects of Acculturation and Generational Status on Mental Health Perceptions Among South Asian Women in the Greater-Houston Area
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Americans are oft-underrepresented within the greater Asian-American racial group (Ibrahim, Ohnishi,& Sandhu, 1997), and conclusions drawn from studies on Asian Americans have been applied to understand South Asian populations, which can lead to misdiagnosing and unsuccessful methods of therapy (Barreto & Segal, 2005; Bhattacharya & Schoppelrey, 2004). Literature shows a clear link between the under-utilization of mental health services in South Asians and their strong cultural stigma of seeking mental health help (Cochrane, R., Hussain, F., 2004). Literature also states that negative attitudes toward mental health, therapy, or counseling services may be a defense mechanism that protects the family unit from the social consequences of stigmatization (Loya, Reddy, Hinshaw, 2010). Previous studies have found a positive correlation between levels of acculturation (i.e, more Westernized) in Asian Americans and positive attitudes toward seeking professional mental health help (Atkinson & Gim 1989; Tata & Leong; 1994). This study aims to fill the gaps in the existing literature specifically on South Asian Americans.