Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Asian Americans-Psychology, Asian Americans-Social networks, Help-seeking behavior, Asian Americans-Cultural assimilation, South Asians-Mental health services-United States, Qualitative research, South Asian immigration, Acculturation, Isolation, Minority, Mental health, Community, Alternative natural supports, Indian, Bangladeshi, Diaspora, Therapy, Family systems, American, Identity, Conflict, Under-utilized, Asian American, Asian


The purpose of this thesis is to discuss the utilization of community resources by South Asian Americans within the context of help-seeking behaviors by members of this broad community and how helping professionals involved with this diverse group can better serve and understand the needs of community members. This thesis includes a discussion of several possible modalities that could be used with this population, current empirical articles showing both the gaps within the current research as well as providing support and structure for the qualitative study this thesis was created for. In my project, I interviewed twelve self identified South Asian American participants, five of whom had utilized mental health services and seven of whom had not utilized these services. The coding of transcripts provided six themes: cultural chameleon, isolation, the importance of feeling understood, conflict in or around identity, what does it mean to be South Asian and microaggressions in comments, questions and explanations. Results can be used to point the way towards future research as well as providing helpful information for professionals working with and within this population to provide better care.




iii, 88 pages : color illustration. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 67-70)