Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

June 2001


Published in Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 8:2 (June 2001), pp. 189-209. Copyright © 2001 Blackwell Publishing. Used by permission. Online @


Child sexual abuse affects thousands of families each year. Issues pertaining to the prevalence, identification, and treatment of sexual abuse have been relatively well explored in the literature as they pertain to the dominant European American culture. These issues, however, are still relatively unexplored in terms of how sexual abuse affects Asian American families and the Asian American community. We review the relevant literature in Asian American families. These matters are explored in the context of Asian American values such as collectivity, conformity, inconspicuousness, middle position virtue, shame, self-control, and fatalism. Attitudes toward family, sexuality, and the mental health system are also discussed. Cultural and institutional barriers to underutilizing mental health services are also explored, and suggestions for overcoming these barriers are offered.