chapter  3
18 Pages

Neuropsychology of Chinese Americans

ByTony M. Wong

The term Chinese American will be used here in reference to those of Chinese descent who are currently residing in the United States, whether they are born in America or have immigrated to this country from other lands. To describe or characterize a group of people based on shared ethnic, racial, or cultural factors, especially in a volume that is addressed to clinical practitioners, can be risky. Although such attempts might be helpful in providing important contextual information and guidance to clinical neuropsychologists who are providing services to individuals from a group with whom they are not entirely familiar, it would at the same time be easy to misapply this information by rigidly stereotyping an individual from a particular ethnic group based on characteristics that may be common to that group. Just as the use of the term Asian or Asian American could be somewhat misleading and obscure the underlying heterogeneity of this group (Wong & Fujii, 2004; Wong, 2000), classifying an individual as Chinese or Chinese American can mask the marked diversity behind this relatively large subgroup. Therefore, in order to provide information that might be helpful to clinical neuropsychologists who evaluate or treat patients of Chinese descent, the goal of this chapter is as much to describe factors that account for the differences within this Asian American subgroup as it is to portray characteristics that might be common among this group.