Experiences of Social Support Among Chinese Immigrant Mental Health Consumers with Psychosis

Zhen Hadassah Cheng, Ming Che Tu, Lawrence Hsin Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Limited research has investigated how culture impacts expressions of social support, which is crucial in developing culturally sensitive care. Using a classification based on theories of social support, we examined the social support experiences of 49 Chinese immigrant mental health consumers with psychosis, paying particular attention to frequency and sources. We found that the most common forms of social support were belonging and companionship, perceived emotional support, social control, and perceived instrumental support, while self-esteem and sense of mastery were the least common forms. Family and friends were the main sources of support. These results demonstrate the influence of Confucian values of renqing (or fulfillment of relational obligations) and guanxi (or social networks) and the negative effects of stigma in diminishing the social standing of these consumers by compromising ‘personhood.’ Clinical implications for increasing the cultural competency of clinicians and improving the mental health outcomes of Chinese immigrants are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-650
Number of pages8
JournalCommunity mental health journal
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Keywords

  • Chinese immigrants
  • Cultural competency
  • Forms of social support
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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