Assessing acceptability of mindfulness meditation as a form of mental health treatment for depression among Chinese Americans

Hong Ngo, Fordham University


The objective of this study was to assess the perceived treatment acceptability of mindfulness meditation (MM) and additional factors that can improve the likelihood of help-seeking for mental health services among Chinese American community members. Chinese American participants consisted of 87 community members who were recruited throughout New York City. Participants were characterized as employed, not very acculturated despite having lived in the U.S. for over a decade, educated, and reported an average household income of $67,900. The majority of the sample was born overseas in Mainland China; they also preferred to complete the questionnaire by paper and in Mandarin Chinese language. The average age of participants was 37.1 years old. Approximately half of the participants were currently married and more than half of the sample never had prior meditation experience. While they strongly hold onto their traditional language, the majority of the sample did not endorse adherence to Asian values and also preferred either using Western medicine or Western medicine in combination with CAM/TCM for treatment of physiological symptoms. Nearly half (45.3%) of the participants denied having a religious affiliation. The present study's primary hypothesis, that participants would endorse significantly higher levels of acceptability for MM on the treatment acceptability scale, was supported. Another significant finding was that participants strongly endorsed cultural relevance and congruence, acceptability, and feasibility of MM. Treatment acceptability of MM was not associated with adherence to Asian values, acculturation level, spirituality, or religious affiliation, suggesting that acceptability of MM is stable among these variables and is not restricted by sociodemographic influences. Supporting quantitative findings that participants had a strong preference for help-seeking from a friend or family member over all other (including TCM/CAM) options, qualitative responses also illustrated that participants' preference for help-seeking from friends and family members. Participants reported strong interest in mental health treatment options. They also did not demonstrate a need for mental health services, and they did not endorse barriers to mental health treatment. Findings from this study might contribute to the understanding of treatment-seeking processes among Chinese Americans and advance treatment programs that facilitate culturally-congruent mental health services for underserved populations.

Subject Area

Asian American Studies|Health Sciences, Mental Health|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Ngo, Hong, "Assessing acceptability of mindfulness meditation as a form of mental health treatment for depression among Chinese Americans" (2014). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3684483.