Acculturation and Social Stigma: Mental Health Communicative Action and Help-seeking Behaviors among Chinese Immigrants in the United States

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Abstract

This study explored the role of social stigma in affecting Chinese immigrants’ likelihood to engage in dialogues regarding mental illness and seek professional help. Moreover, this study hypothesized that Chinese immigrants who are more acculturated would perceive relatively less social stigma toward mental illness. Results from a nationwide survey of 421 Chinese immigrants in the United States provided empirical support for the important roles of acculturation and social stigma in influencing Chinese immigrants’ communicative action and behavioral intentions regarding mental illness and mental health services. The findings offered theoretical and practical implications. Interventions and education programs that target stigma tolerance and cultural competency may be appropriate to reduce social stigma among Chinese immigrants. Increased opportunities to engage in dialogues regarding mental illness may also be key in reducing stigma and increasing the likelihood to seek professional help.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-503
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Strategic Communication
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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