Premigratory expectations and postmigratory mental health symptoms in Vietnamese Amerasians

Robert S. McKelvey, John A. Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the relationship between premigratory expectations for one's future life in the United States and postmigratory symptoms of anxiety and depression in a group of Vietnamese Amerasians. Method: A cohort of 161 Vietnamese Amerasian migrants was assessed prior to departure from Vietnam using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 (HSCL-25), the Vietnamese Depression Scale, and an Expectations Questionnaire. After migration to the United States, subjects were reassessed using the HSCL-25 and the Vietnamese Depression Scale. Results: Premigratory expectations for support from the Vietnamese community in the United States were associated with significantly higher scores on the HSCL-25 Depression scale. Of subjects reassessed in the United States, 20% scored in the clinical range for depression. Conclusions: Like-ethnic community support is critically important in preventing depressive symptoms among Vietnamese Amerasian migrants. Clinicians working with Amerasians should target those with unrealistically high expectations for preventive intervention and should approach Vietnamese community leaders to mobilize support for recently arrived Amerasians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-245
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Vietnamese Amerasians
  • expectations
  • human migration
  • mental health symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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