Moving Beyond the Model Minority

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The ramifications of the model minority stereotype are diverse and divisive. Since its social inception, the model minority image has been damaging because of its inaccuracy, creation of the social pressure to achieve, threat to relationships, and detrimental assumptions. Given the ubiquity of the image and the fact that Asian Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, it is imperative to detail how the stereotype can both shape and hinder the development of Asian-American youth and families, particularly in ways that transcend current knowledge. This special issue aims to drive new insights into the Asian-American experience, encourage researchers to target unique domains of development, and promote a more nuanced understanding of the lives of diverse Asians Americans. Articles in this special issue showcase research on economic contexts of development, Asian Americans’ participation in leadership and politics, and understudied issues of discrimination. They represent a collection of diverse methodologies, including the use of nationally representative and state-wide census data, qualitative and mixed methods, longitudinal data, Latent Class Analysis (LCA) and person-centered approaches, and experience sampling designs. Each provides a unique lens to understand the contexts of development for Asian-American children, young people, and families. Future work that continues to explore how individualized daily experiences of the model minority stereotype accumulate to influence social interactions and long-term adjustment will further inform the process of development facing this exceedingly diverse group.

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