Differential Referral Patterns to Ethnic-Specific and Mainstream Mental Health Programs for Four Asian American Groups


Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043. E-mail: akutsu@umich.edu


This study examined the referral patterns of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Korean Americans at ethnic-specific versus mainstream programs in a public mental health system. As predicted, social/community-based services and family/friends to a lesser degree referred each Asian American group to ethnic-specific programs more than other referral sources (e.g., criminal justice and health services). Referrals by social/community-based programs to ethnic-specific versus mainstream programs were the most significant for Chinese Americans, followed by Japanese and Filipino Americans, and the least significant for Korean Americans. These findings suggest Asian American clients themselves and their social networks may view ethnic-specific programs as more culturally responsive than mainstream programs.