Psychiatric symptom dimensions among asian americans and native hawaiians: An analysis of the symptom checklist

David T. Takeuchi, Hsu‐Sung ‐S Kuo, Kathleen Kim, Philip J. Leaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Standardized instruments are often used to assess the need for mental health services in a community. Such instruments are usually standardized on Caucasian samples and are generally assumed to be appropriate for different ethnocultural minorities. However, this assumption may be in error because cultural groups vary in their expression, manifestation, and reporting of symptoms. This article analyzes the responses to a standardized instrument, the Symptom Checklist (SCL), for four ethnic groups in Hawai'i: Caucasians, Filipinos, Japanese, and Native Hawaiians. Factor analysis using a procrustes rotation was used to force the data to fit into the five hypothesized factors of the SCL (somatization, obsessive‐compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, and anxiety). It showed that the scale item loadings generally did not correspond to the hypothesized factors. Among the ethnic groups, Caucasians appeared to have the best fit between the empirical and hypothesized factors whereas Native Hawaiians had the worst fit. Our results reinforce the importance of assessing established psychiatric symptom scales prior to their use on different ethnocultural minorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-329
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of community psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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