Clinical Treatment and Practice Recommendations for Disordered Eating in Asian Americans

Kimberly Y. Yu, Shana C. Pope, Marisol Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Eating disorders are a serious public health issue associated with substantial psychosocial impairment, medical complications, and comorbid psychopathology. Currently, there is a growing body of literature addressing empirically supported treatments for disordered eating. However, little research and guidance exist on the treatment of eating disorders within ethnic and racial minority populations, particularly Asian Americans. Asian Americans make up a substantial and growing population in the United States and are an important population of consideration in the treatment of eating disorders. Cultural factors relevant to Asian American identity may differentially impact eating disorders development, assessment, treatment, and outcomes. Here, we review the existing literature and discuss sociocultural factors, including beauty ideals, acculturation, and perfectionism, that may influence and contribute to the development of disordered eating among Asian Americans. We also review clinical presentation and treatment considerations for work with Asian American populations and discuss the potential influences of self-construal, stigma, and familial harmony on clinical practice. Using an evidence-based practice approach, we discuss notable practice recommendations for clinicians working with Asian Americans in the treatment of eating disorders. Finally, we highlight how effective practice in eating disorders treatment within Asian American populations can be approached by integrating a framework of cultural competence with evidence-based practice, scientifically informed decision-making, and empirically supported clinical science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2019


  • Asian American
  • Culture
  • Eating disorders
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Treatment recommendations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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