Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Tracy Vozar

Second Advisor

Patrece Hairston Peetz

Third Advisor

Kathryn Barrs


Asian American, Perinatal mental health, Multicultural issues


Women in the perinatal period face a unique set of mental health challenges, as they must navigate both physical changes and transitions in their life. Perinatal mental health has been linked to child outcomes, such as social emotional development, cognitive development, and physical growth. In addition, women of racial and ethnic minority groups are confronted with barriers to accessing services and are therefore less likely to utilize mental health services. While international attention has recently focused on the experiences of women of color in the perinatal period, Asian American women have been largely overlooked. This systemic literature review explores the relevant work on perinatal mental health and factors associated with Asian American mental health, such as acculturative stress, battling stereotypes, and the impacts of discrimination. Each of these factors should be understood within the context of the historical treatment of Asian Americans. This paper centers the experiences of cisgender Asian American women. Further research on non-binary birthing folks should be included in future research. Special considerations for developing programs designed to support and uplift Asian American women during the perinatal period are also discussed in this paper. These include utilizing a collaborative approach, integrating traditional values, and conceptualizing challenges within the context of each socioecological level (e.g., individual, family, and systems level). To develop mental health services and programs with cultural humility, providers should center both individual and community perspectives, and approach conversations from a position of transparency and openness.

Publication Statement

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61 pgs