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The conceptualization of anxiety: An exploratory study of Japanese American older adults

TitleThe conceptualization of anxiety: An exploratory study of Japanese American older adults
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsHilliard, KM, Iwamasa, GY
JournalJournal of Clinical GeropsychologyJournal of Clinical Geropsychology
Date PublishedJan
ISBN Number1079-9362
Accession NumberPeer Reviewed Journal: 2001-00549-006
Keywords*Adult Attitudes, *Anxiety, *Japanese Americans, *Sociocultural Factors, *Symptoms, Concepts, conceptualization of anxiety, Japanese American 61-91 yr olds, Culture & Ethnology [2930], Minority Groups, Neuroses & Anxiety Disorders [3215]
AbstractThis study focused on how Japanese American older adults (aged 61-91 yrs) conceptualize anxiety. Ss were presented with a checklist, which included anxiety and depression symptoms identified in a previous qualitative study conducted by the authors, as well as symptoms from Generalized Anxiety Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV). They were asked to imagine a Japanese American older adult who was experiencing anxiety and check off the symptoms he/she would be experiencing. Results indicated that these Japanese American participants conceptualized anxiety by using more depressive symptoms than anxiety symptoms. In addition, contrary to previous research and speculation about how Asian Americans experience psychological distress, participants also checked a larger number of cognitive symptoms as opposed to somatic symptoms. The present data suggest that Japanese American older adults conceptualize anxiety differently from the traditional psychiatric conceptualization of anxiety. Thus, clinicians and researchers should not generalize symptoms of psychological distress developed and researched on nonminority older adults to ethnic minority adults, and should consider such ethnic group differences in their assessment and treatment methods for ethnic minority adults. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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