Throughout how they are perceived through Asian-American cultural

Throughout psychology, there have been multiple and diverse opinions when explaining what influences an individual the most.  However, it is most undeniable that the primary factor to influence a behavior is through the culture that has cultivated them based on their practices.  An individual’s cultural background places a large emphasis on their own well-being in terms of mental and physical health.  Such ethnic networks that can inflict social strain have been found to be prominent in Asian-American cultures where there is heavy significance and pressure to obtain a model image.  For instance, ethnophysiology and ethnopsychology are contributing factors towards anxiety disorders due to the fact that specific cultures will generally have their own idealized perception of a person’s mind and body.  In addition, contextual factors from the asian-american population have adopted a collectivistic approach and emphasize the need for the individual to sacrifice their sanity and individuality for the greater good of the community.  Another large portion in the topic of anxiety is the pressure of obtaining as well as maintaining the stereotype of being the “model minority” in the United States.  This paper will emphasize on how culture effects anxiety disorders and how they are expressed in Asian-American families. To begin, we must first comprehend the broad term of anxiety disorders and how they are perceived through Asian-American cultural lenses.  An anxiety disorder is broadly termed as an emotional state in which features include nervousness, tension, and other behavioral disturbances.  It is significantly different from fear in that it is an emotional response that can be triggered from an imminent threat, while anxiety is severe apprehension of a possible future threat.  While there are multiple types of anxiety disorders, all generally fall into the category of stress-induced fear for that inflicted individual (Murdock & Kim, 2009).Several socialization practices found in East Asian-American cultures aim to cultivate attunement towards the feelings of others.  This can be seen where individuals are expected to acquire a certain sensitivity towards others.  A failure of becoming aware of this interpersonal evaluation leads the individual to being reprimanded by exploiting their guilty feelings and negative attributes.  Such practices have created “face-saving” behaviors in order to protect the individual as well as the group’s self-image (Gee, 2004).  In a study that focused on emotional attunement and its effects on social anxiety among Asian-Americans, it consisted of  319 undergraduate students in two California public universities who were enrolled in introductory psychology courses.  The selectivity of the participants were that they were of East Asian race, in favor of Confucian principle based cultures, as well as proficiency in speaking and writing in English.  Methods of this research included that participants were to complete a computer assessment on emotional recognition, followed by a hand written questionnaire.  Social anxiety was measure by the 18-item Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A).  Of this questionnaire, there were 3 levels of anxiety:  Fear of Negative Evaluation, distress in new situations, and general social inhibition.  Results of this study indicated that Asian-American students (AA) were significantly likely to experience face loss concerns along with sensitivity to avoid and prevent negative interactions from others in comparison to European American students (EA).  AAs reported that in the familial setting, there was evidence of shame socialization experiences where parents would exercise tactics of guilt and love withdrawal in order to induce compliance (Wang et al, 2011).  This in turn led to severe elevations of social anxiety in AAs rather than the EAs population.A culture’s belief and interpretation of bodily functions and symptoms can influence their approach and handle on situations.  In specific cultures, in order to better understand their own body’s reaction and mental status, they will associate their cultural norms so it is widely known to all members of their society.  For instance, in traditional Chinese medicine, anxiety is believed to be influenced by organ dysfunction of a weak kidney and heart.  A ‘weak kidney’ (shen xu) and a ‘weak heart’ (xin xu) are believed to provide nutrients to the brain by making marrow.  Therefore, it is often commonly mistaken to associate anxiety symptoms to cardiac troubles through the lenses of that culture.  In another example, Taijin kyofusho (TKS) is included in the DSM-5 and is a specific description of social anxiety in Japanese and Korean cultures.  It is described as a disorder that is concerned with performing an action or being presented in an embarrassing manner that will shame another individual (Hofmann & Hinton, 2014).  This fear of negative evaluation can be seen to have been caused by the collectivist attitudes of east-asian society that places more emphasis on the harmony of the group rather than the individual’s own needs.  These following anxiety diagnoses further demonstrate how the culture does not perceive mental illness in their reality.  Ethnopsychology and ethnophysiological factors have dramatic impacts on the perception and expression of anxiety through the context of Asian-American cultures.