To date, there has not been research that disaggregates the experiences of Asian American and international Asian college students seeking psychotherapy in college campus settings. We examined archival data collected over the course of a 17-year period that focused on experiences of Asian American, international Asian, and European American students at a large university in the intermountain west, US. More specifically, we used archival data to identify differences between the aforementioned groups of students in regard to psychotherapy utilization, presenting concerns, distress levels endorsed at intake, and distress levels endorsed at termination. Results were calculated based on findings from the Family Concerns Survey (FCS), Presenting Problem Checklist (PPC), and Outcome Questionnaire 45 (OQ-45). Results indicate no significant differences between these three groups in terms of the maximum number of psychotherapy sessions attended. Cox Regression analyses showed no significant differences between these groups of students in regard to their likelihood for treatment discontinuance. Odds Ratio analyses yielded little statistical difference between groups in terms of likelihood of attending therapy. We found significant differences between these groups of students on a number of items related to their presenting concerns. Additionally, we found a significant difference between students in these three groups in regard to the severity of their presenting distress (as measured by the Outcome Questionaire-45), with international Asian students presenting with the most distress followed by Asian American students and finally European American students. We also found a significant difference between these groups of students in treatment improvement as measured by change scores on the Outcome Questionaire-45 with European American students experiencing the greatest change, followed by Asian American students, followed by international Asian students. Given the nature of these results, practitioners are admonished to attend to initial distress levels upon intake as well as Asian American and international Asian students' experience of racism and discrimination. Practitioners are also encouraged to align treatment recommendations with the specific world view of the client they are meeting with.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





Asian American students, European American students, international Asian students, counseling centers, psychotherapy outcome