Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Asian Americans, mental health, physical health, stigma

Major Advisor

Michelle Williams, Ph.D.

Associate Advisor

Diane Quinn, Ph.D.

Associate Advisor

Stephanie Milan, Ph.D.

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


There is limited understanding of the factors impacting the mental and physical health of Asian Americans. Stigma has been identified as an important contributor to poor mental and physical health in the general population (DHHS, 1999) and as a barrier to seeking mental health services in the Asian American community (e.g., Ting & Hwang, 2009). The current study evaluated a model of the impact of stigma against concealable stigmatized identities (CSIs) on the mental and physical health outcomes of Asian Americans. The current sample consisted of 246 Asian Americans (168 East Asian and 78 South Asian Americans). Participants with a CSI reported the degree to which they believe others will stigmatize them because of their CSIs (anticipated stigma), how important their CSI is to them (stigma centrality), how frequently they think about their identity (stigma salience), their adherence to traditional Asian values, their anticipation of discrimination based on their ethnicity, and their symptoms of depression, anxiety, and physical well-being. Participants without a CSI rated the cultural stigma associated with specific CSIs. The results indicated that stigma salience was the only stigma construct to significantly predict depression and anxiety symptoms in a community sample of Asian Americans. Anticipated ethnic discrimination and Asian values significantly predicted depression and anxiety. The only significant unique predictor of physical health was Asian values. The salience of Asian Americans’ CSIs, their adherence to traditional Asian values, and their anticipation of ethnic discrimination are important areas for intervention to improve their mental and physical health.