Health Disparity Topic Selection and Analysis: Mental Health of the Asian-American Elderly
Mental Health of the Asian-American Elderly
Asian-Americans constitute an important racial/ethnic minority in the US. A few facts
that have been given by the US Census Bureau include:
• In 2011, the population of Asians with more than one race was estimated at 18.2 million.
• The referred population includes about 50 subgroups with reference to origins, diversity in culture, ethnicity, religious traditions, English proficiency, and geographical and immigration history
• The Asian population has been estimated to about 40.6 million by 2050.
• Most of the Asian population in the US is concentrated in the Western states of California and Hawaii.
(US Census Bureau, 2012).
Literature Review on the Asian-American Mental Health Status
A number of scholarly works have been implicated in the elderly Asian American mental health. Normal ageing could be assumed differently from people with dementia from the Asian origin creating stigmatization, aggravating severe chronic mental illness (Liu, et al., 2008). Asian immigrants with difficulty in English have made them prone to difficulties in communication creating disparities in the health status specially the mental health (Mui, et al., 2007). Recent elderly Asian immigrants have been experiencing acculturation stress, involuntary resettlement, and barriers in stereotypical intergenerational solidarity (Ng & Northcott, 2010). Education and self-efficacy had positive correlations with health promotion and mental well-being in Asian immigrants (Sohng, Sohng, & Yeom, 2002).
Analyses of Asian American Elderly
Population rise for the last 3 decades secondary to the immigration of many races and
ethnicities had increased the disparity status, and the simultaneous increase in the proportion of
the elderly of the Asian origin has further camouflaged the disparities in the mental health.
According to Mui and Domanski the heterogeneity of the Asian immigrant population has varied
on the basis of the diversification of culture, language, SES, family patterns and growth ratio,
and it has been utterly important to design some culturally sensitive programs for the health of
the elderly Asian Americans (Mui & Domanski, 1999). It has also been identified that there has
been low prevalence of mental illness in the AA, low reporting of mental disability, and low
utilization of mental health. In the same vein, Han and colleagues described the healthy
mental ageing in the Asians and mentioned about the immigrants` high vulnerability for
depression explaining the phenomenon of pros and cons of acculturation (Han, et al., 2007).
Mental adjustment incompatibilities that have been found in the Asian immigrant population
included the signs/symptoms which were explored within the context of Western bio-medicine.
Soh, Kua, and Ng have identified some of these somatic and...