Correlates of Mental Health Treatment Receipt Among Asian Americans with Perceived Mental Health Problems

Minsun Lee, Aisha Bhimla, Wenyue Lu, Grace X. Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Compared with other ethnic groups, Asian Americans report the lowest rates of mental health treatment and service utilization. This is true even among Asian Americans with mental illness, which indicates that the underutilization of mental health services is not due to the low prevalence of mental health disorders in this population. This study examined which sociodemographic factors, types of mental health problems, and barriers to treatment were associated with the treatment receipt among 126 Asian Americans who reported perceived mental health problems. Among sociodemographic factors, Chinese ethnicity and advanced English proficiency were associated with increased treatment receipt. Controlling for demographic variables, mental health problems such as psychosis, depression, and a history of abuse or trauma significantly increased the likelihood of receiving treatment, whereas addiction showed a tendency of decreased treatment receipt. Among reported barriers, difficulty finding a culturally appropriate therapist appeared to be an important barrier among Asian Americans with perceived mental health problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-212
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Adult
  • Asian/psychology
  • Culturally Competent Care
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders/ethnology
  • Mental Health
  • Mental Health Services/statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care/ethnology
  • Psychotherapy
  • Young Adult


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