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Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention Advance Access originally published online on September 18, 2008
Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention 2008 8(3):251-263; doi:10.1093/brief-treatment/mhn015
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© The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

Bridging the Gap between Two Cultures: An Analysis on Identity Attitudes and Attachment of Asian Americans

   Cliff Akiyama, MA

From the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Contact Author Details: Cliff Akiyama, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 420 Guardian Drive, Room 408, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6096. E-mail: cakiyama{at}

A commonly observed weakness of American and European psychologists and developmental theorist is that their theories are most applicable to white, middle-class, two-parent households. In context of today's immigration patterns of our nation, we must take into consideration individuals and families that are immigrating to the United States from nations of non-Western cultures and that Western developmental and psychological theories do not apply to those of non-Western cultures. The adjustment and adaptation of non-Western Americans is something that must be addressed by every profession from psychology to social work to education to public health, considering that the population of Asian immigrant groups is growing at rapid rates. This review paper will look specifically at the Asian American experience and the way that attachment theory may or may not apply to understanding their social and psychological behaviors, while looking at other factors that contribute to their ethnic identity in defining who they are. Often it is the later generations of Asian Americans that have difficulty answering the question of "who am I?" Consequently, this paper will focus heavily on identity formation and various other factors that play a major role in identity development of Asian Americans.

KEY WORDS: Asian Americans, Identity Formation, Attachment Theory

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