Thesis

Asian American Help-Seeking Attitudes in Relation to Ethnic Belongingness and American Identity

Purpose: This study investigated the relationship between multiethnic identities and help-seeking attitudes among Asian Americans. Hypothesis: Asian Americans with a strong sense of American identity will show a more favorable help seeking attitude and those with a strong sense of ethnic identity will show a less favorable help seeking attitude. Women have a greater help seeking attitude compared to men. Methods: Participants (N=101) completed an online survey about ethnic identity, American identity, and help seeking attitudes. Results: Ethnic identity and American identity did not show a significant relationship. Ethnic identity and American identity did not yield a significant relationship with help- seeking attitudes. Lastly, gender did not produce a significant association with help- seeking attitude. Discussion: American identity and ethnic identity moved in the positive direction, so the theory of biculturalism was examined. The positive direction between ethnic identity and help-seeking attitudes supports prior research that ethnic identity might be a protective factor that assists in seeking help. On the other hand, American identity was inverse to help-seeking attitudes, which is contrary to numerous studies about the Westernized perspective of help-seeking attitudes. Possible implications to social work is the consideration of incorporating ethnic identity discovery during therapy sessions and celebrating cultural diversity within our society. Keywords: Asian American, help-seeking attitudes, American identity, ethnic belongingness, ethnic identity, mental health

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