The Impact of the Model Minority Culture in Higher Education Institutions: The Cause of Asian Americans' Psychological and Mental Health

The Impact of the Model Minority Culture in Higher Education Institutions: The Cause of Asian Americans' Psychological and Mental Health

Ben Tran (Alliant International University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9850-5.ch012
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Abstract

Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are one of the fastest growing ethnic communities in the United States. Often referred to as the model minority, first coined by William Peterson, in 1966, AAPIs in the U.S. number approximately 15 million and represent more than 100 languages and dialects. However, few studies have investigated psychological consequences of internalizing the model minority. The purpose of this chapter is delve into the other side of the model minority façade, the less glamorous side of model minority, one of the causes of Asian Americans' psychological and mental health issues: the history of model minority, the concept of stereotype, and the various psychological and mental health issues, the reputation of the concept of psychological issues, and mental health services. While there is sacred empirical evidence in the support of the claim that direct causality exists between model minority and psychological and mental health issues, validities and correlations can be established, through the shared classification of diagnosed symptoms.
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Model Minority: Psychological And Mental Health

The purpose of this chapter, in conjunct with the purpose of this book, is to discuss and address the model minority stereotype from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. Based on this purpose, this particular chapter covers the history of model minority, the concept of stereotype, and the various psychological and mental health issues derived from the effect of model minority. This chapter will also cover the reputation of the concept of psychological issues and mental health services in the Asian’s and the Asian Americans’ community. However, the main focus of this chapter will not be on the various psychological and mental health issues derived from the effect of model minority. This chapter, however, does not claim that there is an explicit link between model minority stereotypes and mental health, or that the model minority stereotype is the cause of mental health.

There is an inefficient quantitative and qualitative data that exist to serve as credible evidence to support a direct link between model minority and mental health issues. The persistence of such a lack of empirical evidence to claim such causality is due to three reasons:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Emotional Well-Being: People’s own evaluations of their lives in terms of pleasant and unpleasant emotions and judgments of satisfaction

Asian: Or Asiatic, is a term with multiple meanings that refers to people who descend from a portion of Asia's population.

AAPI: AAPI stands for Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and is one of the fastest ethnic communities in the United States.

Stereotype: is a thought that may be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things, but that belief may or may not accurately reflect reality.

Ethnicity: Relates to cultural factors such as nationality, culture, ancestry, language and beliefs.

Race: Refers to a person's physical appearance, such as skin color, eye color, hair color, bone/jaw structure.

Psychological Distress: A general term that refers to day-to-day perceived stress.

Mental Disorder: Or psychiatric disorder, is a mental or behavioral pattern or anomaly that causes distress or disability, and which is not developmentally or socially normative.

Model Minority: Asians serve as visible models for other less motivated racial groups in proper behaviors and attitudes and proper work ethic.

Mental Health: Describes a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder.

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