Forgiveness, Coping, and Health Outcomes Among Asian Americans

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Asian Americans have often been stereotyped as being model minorities, yet they commonly suffer from immense pressure and mental health issues, deriving in part from negative factors of acculturation and racism-related stress. Asian Americans' relational and social strains from these factors could generate unforgiveness, which is associated with poor psychological and physical health. Asian Americans use various coping strategies to reduce unforgiveness. The aim of this study was to explore the correlations between forgiveness, coping strategies, and health among Asian Americans while using Harris and Thoresen's (2005) theoretical model. The hypotheses were: (a) Asian Americans' level of trait forgiveness would be negatively correlated with reported health problems, (b) racism-related stress would be positively correlated with health problems, (c) Asian Americans who primarily used dysfunctional coping strategies would report greater health problems than those who primarily used emotion-focused or problem-focused coping strategies, (d) the relationship of trait forgiveness and health problems in the dysfunctional coping strategies group would not be as strong as the relationship of trait forgiveness and health problems in the emotion-focused coping strategies or problem-focused coping strategies group, and (e) Asian Americans' level of acculturation would be negatively correlated with reported health problems. The hypotheses were tested among 260 Asian American participants (108 males; mean age = 38 years old) from California and Hawaii through the use of hierarchical regression analysis. Although none of the hypotheses were supported, this current study renders heuristic value, which consists of considerations toward culturally relevant factors, appropriate measures, and the overall health of Asian Americans.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)

First Advisor

Kim, Seong-Hyeon

Document Type





Asian Americans, Health and hygiene, Forgiveness, Stress




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