Abstract: Mental Health

AAPI Nexus: Mental Health Volume 8, Number 2 Spring 2011 Abstracts

Aligning Policy to the Mental Health  Needs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Marguerite Ro and Wendy Ho

ABSTRACT: This paper examines federal and California state mental health policy as related to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. A brief review of several pertinent issues is presented: the mental health status of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, culture and stigma, insurance coverage and utilization, and the mental health workforce. Recommendations are suggested to address issues of data and research, culturally competent services, and accountability of existing policies.

Comparative Effectiveness Research on Asian American Mental Health: Review and Recommendations
Frederick T.L. Leong and Zornitsa Kalibatseva

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this manuscript is to describe the comparative effectiveness research (CER) paradigm and its important role in guiding current federal funding of research and examine how this paradigm can be used to guide Asian American mental health research. We will begin with a review of comparative effectiveness research and provide several examples of Asian American studies, which fit into the paradigm. In discussing how we may map the CER onto Asian American mental health research, the problem of differential research infrastructure will be introduced and used to frame our recommendations for future research. We provide some recommendations for using CER in Asian American mental health research by noting the need for multiple approaches due to the problem of differential research infrastructure, and expanding the human capital and data infrastructure. The pros and cons of randomized control trials (RCT) are discussed and an example of a study being planned by the authors is presented to illustrate how to undertake studies on Asian American mental health using the CER paradigm.

Pre-Intake Attrition or Non- Attendance of Intake Appointments at an Ethnic-Specific Mental Health Program for Asian American Children and Adolescents
Phillip D. Akutsu, Garyn K. Tsuru, and Joyce P. Chu

ABSTRACT: This study examines the relationship of client demographic, clinical, client-therapist match, and service program factors to the rate of pre-intake attrition or the non-attendance of intake appointments for 236 Asian American children and adolescents (18 years and younger) at an Asian-oriented ethnic-specific mental health program. The results showed that urgency status or the need for the earliest intake appointment, ethnic match with the prescreening interviewer, and the assignment of the prescreening interviewer as the intake therapist were significantly related to attendance of intake appointments for Asian American children and adolescents. In contrast, older age was found to reduce the likelihood of intake attendance for Asian American youth clients. Specific implications of these results to program evaluation and service improvements in mental health care delivery to Asian American youth groups will be discussed.

Cultural Identity and Conceptualization of Depression among Native Hawaiian Women
Van M. Ta, Puihan J. Chao, and Joseph Keawe’aimoku Kaholokula

ABSTRACT: This study seeks to understand how Native Hawaiian (NH) women identified themselves culturally and conceptualized the causes of depression, and whether there was an association between these two constructs. Among the thirty NH women who were interviewed, a quarter had a high degree of depression symptoms, and a majority expressed a strong/shared identification/affinity with their culture. Our findings suggest that social stressors that contribute to the depressive symptoms of NH women could be, in part, linked to acculturation-related factors associated with U.S. occupation of Hawai‘i and their social status as native people. Future research should examine this relationship further.

Asian Americans and Redistricting: Empowering Through Electoral Boundaries
Paul Ong and Albert J. Lee

ABSTRACT: This article examines the background, history, and outcomes of Asian American engagement in political redistricting. It provides a historical context through an overview of the efforts by African Americans and Latinos, which established a foundation for Asian Americans. Through an analysis of demographic and spatial patterns, the paper argues that Asian Americans face a unique challenge and consequently have had to rely on utilizing a strategy based on the concept of “Community of Common Interest” to defend the integrity of Asian American neighborhoods from being fragmented by redistricting. Although it is difficult to construct Asian-majority districts, the creation of Asian-influence districts has contributed to an increase in the numbers of elected Asian American officials.