Challenges in Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Urban Asian American Adolescents: Service Providers' Perspectives

Ariane Ling, Sumie Okazaki, Ming Che Tu, Joanna J. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although Asian American youth are often viewed as the model minority group who are doing well, research with youths, parents, and school personnel have documented significant unmet mental health needs among this population. However, little is known about the perspectives of service providers who work with Asian American youth in afterschool and mental health care settings with respect to what they perceive as challenges meeting the psychosocial needs of the population. The current exploratory study used Consensual Qualitative Research to analyze in-depth interviews with mental health providers, educators, and advocates working with Asian American youths in a multiethnic large urban environment. Results found that service providers were attuned to the multiple needs of the community but also spoke of challenges in meeting basic and psychological needs due to difficult family dynamics, structural stressors (e.g., economic and legal), and societal stigma and discrimination. We draw implications for providing more integrated services across different levels of urban Asian American adolescents' ecological system to better meet the psychosocial challenges facing this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalRace and Social Problems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Adolescents
  • Asian American
  • Consensual Qualitative Research
  • Immigrant
  • Mental health
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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