Asian young adults (AYA) experience the highest degree of psychological distress and greatest unmet mental health needs among Asian individuals in the U.S. since the Covid-19 pandemic. Compared to European Americans and other ethnoracial minorities, Asians are least likely to utilize mental health services, leading to elevated levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms. There is a paucity of culturally sensitive interventions for Asian individuals despite shown advantages over non-culturally adapted treatments. Stigma against mental health and structural barriers (e.g., financial costs, time commitment) further limit AYAs from accessing affordable mental health care. As such, we propose to develop a brief online intervention, the Dialectic-Informed Stress Reduction (DISR) intervention, that harnesses the benefits of dialectical perspectives from Asian contemplative wisdom traditions to reduce psychological distress and improve mental health outcomes among AYAs. In Aim 1, we will conduct qualitative interviews and focus groups to optimize the feasibility, acceptability, and potential efficacy of the intervention to improve mental health outcomes. In Aim 2, we will conduct a two-arm randomized controlled trial to test the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of the intervention. If proven feasible and efficacious, the intervention may offer a scalable, low-cost, and culturally sensitive solution to promote mental health among AYAs.

Yikai Xu (徐毅凯)

New York University