Professor studies effects of stereotype
Published: Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 23:07
Jeffery Liew, associate professor of learning sciences at Texas A&M, heads Project Chinese American Successful Living, which will study Houston's Chinese population to understand factors that help or hinder the success of Chinese-American teens in school, thanks to a grant from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.
Liew's project might provide mental health professionals with information to help them work with Chinese-American parents and students by examining the effects of stereotypical and cultural influence on mental health and academic performance.
The research team will survey adolescents and their families on their cultural beliefs, psychological health and academic achievement with the goal of reaching at least
Liew said the extreme pressure caused by the stereotype of the over-achieving Asian-American student may put Chinese-American students at a higher risk of suffering from mental health problems. Students experiencing mental health issues may also avoid seeking help.
"Asian-Americans have often been stereotyped as ‘model minorities' in the U.S as being financially successful and high-achievers academically," Liew said. "The model minority stereotype creates extreme pressures to achieve academically, and there are still many Asian-Americans who are underperforming, undereducated and have low socioeconomic status."
The team's research was made possible by a grant from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, a grant-making foundation at the University of Texas in Austin that works to improve mental health in Texas. Liew's grant was one of 10 one-year grants capped at $15,000 awarded to researchers at Texas schools this May, including two from Texas A&M.
"Many of the students who participate in [the project] will likely apply to Texas A&M and become a part of our Aggie family," said Liew. "It's important that we are able to appreciate individuals for who they are, not who their stereotype says they should be."