Content Review of Qualitative Research on Asian American Psychological Well-Being

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Abstract

Qualitative methods have made important contributions to Asian American psychology. To date, annual reviews of research in the Asian American Journal of Psychology have not focused on the nature and status of qualitative studies in the field. To address this gap, the present study provides a content review of 12 years of qualitative research related to Asian American psychological well-being, published between 2003 and 2014. Using PsycINFO, 487 relevant articles were identified and coded for publication journal, study sample and qualitative research method characteristics, and topical focus. The most frequently studied populations in the 12-year span were Korean and Chinese, immigrants, community adults, heterogeneous samples including women and men, and individuals living in the western and northeastern regions of the United States. Grounded theory emerged as the predominant qualitative method approach, and individual interviews were the most prevalent form of data collection. Nearly half of the reviewed studies lacked identification of a specific qualitative approach, and a similar percentage lacked a description of trustworthiness/credibility checks. The most frequently studied topic was mental health, followed by physical health. Additional topics covered in this review include self and identity, family dynamics, acculturation, interpersonal violence, aging, education, racism, religion, and work. Descriptive summaries of studies within topic areas are provided as well as a discussion of broader themes, methodological patterns, and future recommendations.

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