Colonial mentality: A review and recommendation for Filipino American psychology

E. J R David, Sumie Okazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Colonial mentality is a term used widely by ethnic studies scholars and by the Filipino American community to refer to a form of internalized oppression among Filipinos and Filipino Americans. The authors propose that colonial mentality is a construct that is central to the understanding of the psychology of contemporary Filipino Americans. Drawing on larger scholarship from postcolonial studies and psychological research on oppression, the authors review the historical and sociological contexts in which to understand the significance of the colonial mentality concept for the Filipino American population. The authors also review the existing literature on colonial mentality and provide specific recommendations for incorporating this construct into research and practice with Filipino Americans. It is argued, through this illustrative example of colonial mentality among Filipino Americans, that examining the psychological impact of colonialism is a way to incorporate larger historical and sociological contextual variables into ethnic minority research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Asian Americans
  • Colonial mentality
  • Colonialism
  • Filipino Americans
  • Internalized oppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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