Help-Seeking Stigma in Asian American College Women: the Role of Disordered Eating Cognitions and Psychological Inflexibility

Akihiko Masuda, Bradly L. Goodnight, Stacey Y. Ng, L. Ward Schaefer, Erin C. Tully, Wing Yi Chan, Chad E. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Help-seeking stigma is considered a major obstacle to seeking professional psychological services in Asian American college women. Informed in part by objectification theory and the psychological flexibility model of behavior change, the present cross-sectional study examines the role of disordered eating cognition and psychological inflexibility in help-seeking stigma among a sample of Asian American college women (N = 257). More specifically, this study examined whether disordered eating cognitions and psychological inflexibility would mediate the association between psychological distress and stigma tolerance for seeking psychological services in this group. Results revealed that both greater disordered eating cognition and greater psychological inflexibility were associated with lower stigma tolerance, and each of them uniquely mediated the association between greater psychological distress and lower stigma tolerance. These findings suggest that disordered eating cognitions and avoidance-based coping and beliefs may contribute to help-seeking stigma and its association with psychological distress. Limitations of the study and the directions of future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-201
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal for the Advancement of Counselling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Asian American women
  • Disordered-eating cognitions
  • Emotion regulation
  • Experiential avoidance
  • Psychological distress
  • Psychological flexibility
  • Stigma tolerance of seeking psychological services


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