|The Colonial Mentality Project
Dr. E. J. R. David in the News
What is Colonial Mentality
Mental Health Implications of Colonial Mentality
Personal Stories of Colonial Mentality
The Colonial Mentality Scale
E.J. David's Pilipino Word of the Day Series
The Psychological Study of Colonial Mentality or Internalized Oppression Among Filipino Americans and other Marginalized Groups
Based on a national sample of over 600 Filipino Americans, the following results were obtained:
(1) One out of three, or three out of ten Filipino Americans (30%) have some form of Colonial Mentality. That is, they either feel inferior of their ethnicity and culture, feel ashamed and embarassed of their ethnicity or culture, perceive white physical characteristics as superior, discriminate against FOBs, or tend to feel indebted toward their past and present colonizers/oppressors
(2) One out of ten (10%) Filipino Americans have at least two forms of Colonial Mentality.
So what if some Filipino Americans have Colonial Mentality? Does it have any important psychological implications?
(1) Empirical research found that Filipino Americans with Colonial Mentality have significantly LOWER personal self-esteem than Filipino Americans WITHOUT Colonial Mentality.
(2) Filipino Americans with Colonial Mentality also have LOWER collective self-esteem than Filipino Ameriacans without Colonial Mentality.
(3) Filipino Americans with Colonial Mentality also have HIGHER depression levels than Filipino Ameriacans without Colonial Mentality.
So what does this all mean?
Many scholars have speculated in the past that Colonial Mentality plays an important role in Filipino American mental health. However, there has never been a systematic and quantitative study that provides evidence to such hypotheses. The results found by this research program thus far is the first to provide such an evidence. In addition to the presented results above, we also found that Colonial Mentality uniquely and significantly contributes to depression levels even after controlling for the effects of age, sex, educational levels, socioeconomic status, and personal and collective self-esteem on depression. In other words, Colonial Mentality should be considered as an important contributing factor to Filipino American depression levels in addition to other depression-related variables.
These suggest that Colonial Mentality should be considered as a potential explanation for the alarming mental health statistics among Filipino Americans. The high clinical depression rate among this population (30%) and the high rates of suicide ideations/attempts among Filipino American adolescents may be partly due to Colonial Mentality, as Colonial Mentality is found to be quite common among this ethnic/cultural group. Thus, the findings presented above have direct implications on Filipino American mental health.
David, E.J.R., & Okazaki, S. (2006b). The Colonial Mentality Scale (CMS) for Filipino Americans: Scale construction and psychological implications. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53 (2), 241-252.