Asset and Protective Factors for Asian American Children's Mental Health Adjustment

Qing Zhou, Annie Tao, Stephen H. Chen, Alexandra Main, Erica Lee, Jennifer Ly, Michelle Hua, Xiaowei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Asian Americans (AAs) are the second largest foreign-born population in the United States. Contrary to the "model minority" stereotype that this group is unitarily well adjusted and high achieving, recent research has revealed substantial differences in mental health adjustment among AA children. Although research to identify the risk processes for mental health problems among AA children is underway, it has paid little attention to related asset and protective processes. This article selectively reviews the theory and empirical evidence on a set of child-, family-, and neighborhood-level characteristics for their potential asset or protective roles in AA children's mental health adjustment. These characteristics include (a) child factors (maintenance of heritage culture, bilingualism, coping, and emotion regulation), (b) family factors (authoritative parenting and parental support), and (c) a neighborhood factor (ethnic community). Overall, systematic efforts to identify asset and protective factors for AA children's mental health and understand the underlying developmental mechanisms are nascent. Directions for future research in this area are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-319
Number of pages8
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Asian American
  • Mental health
  • Protective factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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