Achievement vs. Adjustment: The Paradoxical Effect of the Model Minority Myth on Asian American Students




Jaavvadi, Praveena

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This study aims to understand the differences between White and Asian students according to a specific set of psychological processes and role the internalization of the model minority myth plays. In my thesis I first examined what it means to be Asian American by looking at where the term first came from, the differences between race and ethnicity, and the diversity within the group. Then I examined the model minority’s myth origins and looked into the effect the model minority myth has been found to have on Asian American development. Then I examined the achievement adjustment paradox and the mental health outcomes of Asian Americans to understand the current problem facing Asian Americans. After this, I explained my study, the psychological processes that I was studying, the results, and analyzed them. I found that belonging plays a particularly powerful role for Asian American students, Asian American students score lower on hope for the future in comparison to White students, and the internalization of the model minority myth can act as a buffer against negative feelings. I explained that belonging and the internalization of the model minority myth may be playing a particularly influential role because there is not a clear understanding or language to describe the Asian American experience.


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