Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Lizabeth Roemer

Second Advisor

Karen L. Suyemoto

Third Advisor

Grace Kim


Mental health stigma is a ubiquitous concern impacting help-seeking in the United States and worldwide, including in college students. Insufficient attention has been given to the cultural context of stigma and help-seeking in Asian Americans, constructs in which culture has inherent relevance. The current study was the first to develop and test the acceptability of an online culturally adapted, values-based stigma and help-seeking intervention for Asian American college students, intentionally framing the benefits of therapy and mental wellness as congruent with values-based behaviors, intending to reduce the social costs and stigma of impaired functioning. A sample of 115 East, South, and Southeast Asian American college students across the U.S. read and listened to narrated stories of college students experiencing mental health symptoms, stigma concerns, and examples of the congruence of benefits from therapy and mental wellness with values. In a repeated measures design counterbalanced for order, these stories included a culturally adapted condition framed with Asian American values and a generic Eurocentric condition framed with European American values. Participants provided quantitative feedback on each condition, as well as specific messages, and completed questionnaires to assess for potential correlates of message acceptability. Notably, all messages regardless of condition were rated highly acceptable (e.g., averages above “equally agree and disagree”), but ratings between conditions were not significantly different. Correlates and subgroups for differential message acceptability are discussed. Future research is needed to further explore the usefulness of discussing values-based behaviors in help-seeking promotion, effective strategies for cultural adaptations, and potential differences for specific populations.