Help-Seeking and Coping Behaviors Among Asian Americans: The Roles of Asian Values, Emotional Intelligence, and Optimism


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Abstract

Help-seeking and coping behaviors for emotional distress in Asian Americans were examined with Asian values, perceived emotional intelligence, and optimism as predictors. Participants were 160 self-identified Asian American college students. Out of 6 identified coping methods, disengagement and meditation/exercise were reported to be the more predominant help-seeking strategies. Asian values and the perceived ability to manage others’ emotions predicted the reported use of family supports. The perceived ability to manage one’s own emotions predicted reported use of meditation/exercise and substance use as coping methods; however, this predictor strongly overlapped with optimism. Utilization of professional supports, such as psychologists and other mental health professionals, were predicted by past use of counseling services. Management of one’s emotions and optimism distinguished those who had used counseling services from those who had not. Implications are made for adapting professional services to be culturally sensitive, in order to better address mental and emotional health needs in the Asian American community.

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