The authors wish to thank Professor Thomas J. Scheff for his helpful comments on the paper, the California State Department of Mental Hygiene and the Asian American Studies Center at UCLA for their support.
Mental Illness among the Chinese: Myth or Reality?1
Article first published online: 14 APR 2010
1973 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Journal of Social Issues
Volume 29, Issue 2, pages 149–166, Spring 1973
How to Cite
Berk, B. B. and Hirata, L. C. (1973), Mental Illness among the Chinese: Myth or Reality?. Journal of Social Issues, 29: 149–166. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1973.tb00078.x
- Issue published online: 14 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 14 APR 2010
This study examines trends in mental hospital commitments among the Chinese in California over the past one hundred years. There has been a two-fold increase for the general population compared to a seven-fold increase among the Chinese; while initially the Chinese had substantially lower rates of commitment, since the 1930s they have been roughly equal to the general population. Rates of increase within the Chinese population were not uniform; males, the aged, and the foreign born experienced substantially greater increases. Changes have also occurred in patterns of diagnosis and length of hospitalization over the century.