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Religion hurts Asian American Youth? September 3, 2008

Posted by peterong in Asian American, Asian American Youth.

In this report from Ohio State that states that “…Asian American youth who attended church at least once a week reported 20 to 27 percent more symptoms of depression than their white and African American peers who attended the same level.” 

I suspect this harkens to the Helen Lee’s “Silent Exodus” and the rigidity of the ethnic church and the conflict of mainstream American culture on that. I also have a strange suspicion could be the conflict of faith with the doubled facets of generational gap and culture. But also the leadership that could minister to youth has been lacking. 

Would love to hear your thoughts. 


Participating in religion may make adolescents from certain races more depressed from PhysOrg.com

One of the few studies to look at the effects of religious participation on the mental health of minorities suggests that for some of them, religion may actually be contributing to adolescent depression. Previous research has shown that teens who are active in religious services are depressed less often because it provides these adolescents with social support and a sense of belonging.


I managed to find an abstract of the research here.



1. Youth-enAsia « Next Gener.Asian Church - September 26, 2008

[…] leave a comment » Do church youth programs kill faith? […]

2. euroasiangirl - September 27, 2008

I find your blog very intersting I added it to my blogroll.

3. stel - November 29, 2008

Jesus frees people, religion bounds people. i think kids who grow up in the church, as well as their parents, has stronger moral sense than others. For Asians, morality is tied to “face”. the closeness of their own lives prevents Asian youth from expressing themselves freely. the struggle and conflicts that they have to face, both inwardly and outwardly, bring them down. Distance from parents and striving to live up to their expectations also lay heavy burden on the kids. i think that might cause depression. A healthy youth group need to work with both kids and parents, encourage healthy communication and fellowship, address the issues teens have to face, and even open them to various social causes to free them from their own bondage…

4. Andrew H - December 2, 2008

A fascinating study, thanks for digging up this article and finding a link to it.

A pity they weren’t able to determine what kind of churches those Asian high schoolers were going to!

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