Monday 08 September, 2014

OCA-Greater Seattle looking for American born Asian adolescents for study

Hello parents of OCA – Greater Seattle,

My name is Wells Ling, and I am currently a graduate student at St. Louis University in the developmental psychology program. As a member of an organization whose mission is to promote cultural heritage in the greater Seattle area, I’m writing you today to announce a very important study that I hope you can be a part of. I am currently looking for American born Asian adolescents who are between the 8th and 12th grade to participate in a study examining how drawing adolescents’ attention to their ethnicity can influence future social interactions and ethnic identity development. Participation involves filling out a survey and would be extremely helpful in furthering the field’s knowledge of ethnic identity development. And to encourage participation, we will raffle off four $25 dollar gift cards to, with the chances of winning standing at approximately a 1 in 25. Further details of the study can be found below.

About myself:

I am currently a graduate student at Saint Louis University working towards my doctorate in developmental psychology. My research interest in cross cultural psychology focuses on studying various aspects of ethnic identity development in Asian American children. As a second generation Taiwanese American growing up in the Midwest, I have always been interested in what factors influence whether or not an individual decides to take an interest in his or her own cultural heritage. I believe this particular study will help us answer this question and provide a foundation for future research into a developmental process that affects nearly 4.3 million Asian American children nationwide (U.S. Census, 2011).

Why Asian Americans?:

Aside from being Asian American, it is particularly important to study this group as within the field of psychology, little is known about this particular racial group in comparison to other minority groups found in the United States. This disparity in research is a mistake considering that the Asian American population grew 46%, making it the fastest developing ethnic group in America during that time period (U.S. Census, 2011). As research into this population increases, results may lead to increase government funding provided for public services specifically for Asian Americans.

Why is this important to Asian Americans?:

This type of research examining the factors of ethnic identity development is vital, as research has already shown that in as little as three generations, Asian American children will lose a majority of their family’s cultural knowledge, cultural awareness, and cultural orientation. By understanding the factors that influence one’s identity development, we are able to better develop strategies and programming to facilitate identity development. Additionally, individuals with a strong ethnic identity have been shown to have better academic adjustment and social development, increased self-esteem, and the ability to buffer the negative effects of discrimination.

Who is eligible to participate in this study?

Currently we are looking for American born Asian adolescents who will be between the 8th and 12th grade this upcoming school year.

What will participants be doing?

For this particular study, your child will simply be asked to fill out an online computer survey which includes questions regarding their ethnic identity development, self-esteem, and previous experiences in which their ethnicity was brought to their attention.

I’m interested, what do I do now?

To find out more about the study, the research that has gone into the study, and for more detailed information about what your child will be doing, please visit our website at

To sign your child up for possible participation in this study, please visit:

If you have any questions about the study or would like to contact me directly, please e-mail me at

Thank you for your consideration.

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