Asians and the myth of the model minority in higher education: A psychocultural reality in the 21st century

Ronn Johnson, Ji Youn Cindy Kim, Jo Jo Yanki Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


When compared with African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans, Asian are often attributed more positive attributions from the dominant culture. The developed stereotype, Myth of the Model Minority (MMM), suggests Asian Americans achieve a higher degree of success than the general population. Under the internalized assumption of being psychologically trouble free, the MMM stereotype contributes to Asians being less inclined to proactively engage in help seeking behavior despite the presence of severe mental health concerns. Psychocultural examples relating to Asian Americans (e.g., Virginia Tech Shooter case) are reviewed to form a clinical and forensic psychological framework that offers a challenge as to why the MMM is problematic in higher education. The myths related to MMM and the experiences-positive or negative-of MMM are analyzed to encourage subsequent empirically-based applications for addressing MMM as well as serving as a caveat against using monocausal explanations or other thumbnail assessments of Asian American behavior in higher education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGaming and Technology Addiction
Subtitle of host publicationBreakthroughs in Research and Practice
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781522507789
ISBN (Print)1522507787, 9781522507789
StatePublished - Aug 5 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Computer Science(all)


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