Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Barragan, Armando


Out of 14.4% of Asian Americans in the state of California, and 5.4% in the United States, Pakistani-Americans are one sub-group, out of ten. Pakistani- Americans are either born in, or have familial ties back to the country of Pakistan. This research emphasizes on the lack of knowledge or awareness of mental health, and more importantly, the perceptions of mental health amongst Pakistani-Americans. The topic of mental illness within the Pakistani community is almost taboo and never spoken about with individuals outside of the family. With Islamic laws having a huge a huge influence on the Pakistani culture, people tend to turn to the religion to find answers. Using a qualitative approach, the researcher was able to conduct interviews and find 7 emerging themes; perceptions on seeking mental health treatment, where individuals would prefer to be treated for mental health issues, the significant role of religion, sharing problems and issues growing up, different cultural practices associated with psychological distress, identifying depression and anxiety as a mental illness, and the idea of Schizophrenia vs seeing or hearing Jinns. The researcher was able to conclude that Pakistani-American’s have shown growth in the understanding of mental health symptoms, however are still behind in understanding what is classified as a mental health issue and what is not.

Included in

Social Work Commons