8
   

Might asians, and jews be smarter?

 
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2010 08:16 pm
The Growing Rate of Depression, Suicide Among Asian American Students
Asian American women ages 15 to 24 lead in the highest suicide rate amongst all ethnic groups, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

By Christine McFadden, Special to the Pacific Citizen
Published January 6, 2010

Students at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. were shocked last year when three of their classmates committed suicide almost consecutively. Junior Brian Go, senior Jackson Ho-Leung Wang, and graduate student Long Phan ended their lives within a three-month period and left the campus searching for answers. Wang was within days of his graduation.

Their deaths brought attention to a persistent problem currently on the rise: student suicides. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that Asian Pacific Americans are more likely to commit suicide than the average American.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) lists suicide as the third highest cause of death among the 15-to-24 age group in America. Although overall past statistics have shown that suicide rates among APAs are not significantly higher than other minority groups, recent studies reveal that APA students are at high risk.

In both Japan and America, Asian men have higher suicide rates than women. However, Dr. Eliza Noh, an assistant professor at the California State University, Fullerton whose research expertise involves APA suicide, points out that this is because men tend to use more violent methods of killing themselves. Women are still at risk with a higher rate of depression.

In researching suicide among APA women, Noh conducted interviews with 42 women from across the nation who either attempted suicide or experienced suicidal depression. The majority of women were in the age range of students. In her research, she was able to identify several common influences that led to their depression.

Facing Pressures to be a ‘Model Minority’

One major factor is the concept of the “model minority” — a term first coined in the mid-1960s by University of California, Berkeley sociologist William Peterson. The “model minority” originated from Japanese Americans “doing really well in spite of the fact that they had been interned and had gone through a lot of discrimination during World War II,” said Noh.

“The reason for this was that Japanese Americans had the right cultural values that allowed them to do well,” she continued. “And then it just became applied to Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans. The idea is basically that Asian Americans do well in school, do well in work, have few social problems, and they do this through the right cultural values.”

According to Noh, this socially constructed stereotype has become internalized in many APA households, causing higher family expectations and therefore hitting APA students twofold.

Noh, who attended Columbia University, remembers hearing about neighboring East Coast schools like Cornell University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) having high numbers of student suicides.

“At Cornell, they have a lot of gorges — people jumped off [the] gorges,” she said.

According to New America Media, from 1996 to 2006, of the 21 students who committed suicide at Cornell, 13 were APA. This 61.9 percentage is significantly higher than the overall percent of APA students, which is 14.

From 1964 to 2000, the average number of MIT undergraduate student suicides was nearly three times that of many as the national campus average, with 21.2 students out of every 100,000 committing suicide in comparison to 7.5, with 11.7 as the national overall average.

However, national suicide rates in 2004 show Asian/Pacific Islanders suffering from similar suicide rates to other minorities such as Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Blacks, with 5.8 suicides per 100,000
in comparison to 5.9 and 5.3, respectively. The numbers for Asian/Pacific Islanders has increased.

“I don’t experience a lot of stress myself, actually, but for everybody it’s different,” said Stephen Ge, a Chinese American MIT sophomore. “The only thing in common with everybody is the work; that’s what most people are stressed out about. I think people usually deal with it pretty well. I’ve never actually had negative stress too much, but people are still stressed out for sure.”

Ge can only recall hearing about one suicide happening during his time thus far at MIT, though he has heard of past suicides and sees daily reminders of maintaining mental health with signs posted in dorms and near elevators.

In Palo Alto, Calif., a recent string of suicides at Henry M. Gunn High School — ranked number 67 by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s “Best High Schools” — has caused some to speculate that high levels of stress and expectations are what contributed to the deaths, in addition to suicide contagion (suicide clusters or imitative deaths) and many other factors. In the past eight months, three students and one prospective student have taken their own lives.

“Asian Americans take up 30 percent of the school and we’ve had four suicide cases,” said Stanford University sophomore Heming Yip, who graduated from Henry M. Gunn High School in 2008. “I’m not sure anyone can or should draw any conclusions from that.”

Yip was voted “Most Stressed” in high school, receiving perfect to near-perfect scores on all of his standardized tests. He is currently attending one of the nation’s top-tiered universities. Yip falls under several categories specified by Noh as major contributors to suicide. However, he has never faced depression or ever once contemplated ending his life.

“I’m not the type to internalize stress. I’m just very vocal and expressive about stress, which is how half the school knew about it,” he explained.

Although he acknowledges that, in general, APAs seem to be subject to more academic stress than other racial groups, Yip does not recall his APA friends at Henry M. Gunn High School (two of whom landed perfect 2400 SAT scores) being subjected to exceptional amounts of stress.

Despite some evidence pointing toward APA students’ suicide rate falling within the vicinity of other minority students, Noh said that the statistics are sometimes misleading.

“If you look at the rates, it looks like Asian Americans aren’t at risk,” she says. “If you look at the rates in a different way — what proportions of Asian American students died in suicide, leading cause of death, specific age and gender groups — I think it’s really important to look at the factors within their own context.”

APA women ages 15 to 24 lead in the highest suicide rate amongst all ethnic groups, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Noh’s older sister committed suicide while in college.

The Road to Recuperation

Noh also noted cultural barriers as a factor behind suicide. Many APA women often avoid seeking clinical help and sometimes prefer alternative methods of healing. In addition, she pointed out heredity, (studies show that depression runs within families), religious beliefs (some rituals — for example, Seppuku, the act of a Samurai killing himself to avoid shame — permit suicide, although she said the majority of Asian communities see suicide as a weakness), and regional/socioeconomic demographics as all factors related to suicide and depression.

Although national figures and numerous factors behind suicide may show a grim outlook for APA students, Noh encountered several successful methods of recovery among the women she interviewed. While several chose to take medication and enlist in clinical help, the majority turned to alternative forms of recovery.

“A lot of women kept journals and they thought that to be very therapeutic,” said Noh.

Other methods included spiritual recovery, traditional herbal medicine and acupuncture, and partaking in social or cultural activities as creative outlets and as methods of “venting their pain.”

At MIT, Ge said that abundant extracurricular opportunities on campus such as dance and sports help students to relieve stress and “focus on something other than academics.” MIT additionally eases its grading system for beginning students, not differentiating between pluses or minuses, capping units, and recording first semester classes only if they pass.

“Definitely [during the] first year, it helps people,” said Ge. “It takes off a lot of the pressure. I think it definitely helps.”

Students facing depression or contemplating suicide can call:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
1-800-784-2433 (SUICIDE)

Asian LifeNet Hotline
1-877-990-8585
Help is provided 24 hours a day. Languages offered include: Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and Fujanese

pacificcitizen.org

Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Aug, 2010 08:46 pm
@Miller,
Miller wrote:

Foofie wrote:

Miller wrote:


Quote:
Asian parents have high expectations.

Would these pressures increase suicide rates among Asian-American college students?


The high expectations of Asian parents lowers the suicide rate amongst Hispanics, since Hispanics then do not feel the pressure of competing against Asians at school.


Please give a reference for your comments concerning Hispanic suicide rates.
Are you Hispanic?


No I am American of Eastern European descent, from my grandparents leaving Czarist Russia in the late nineteenth century. Something about the Czar not treating Jews that well?

My comment about Hispanics was a non-sequitor, based on my lack of feeling for the "high expectations" of Asian parents. It was a short burst of "the sillies," a la Monty Python.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Aug, 2010 09:22 pm
@Foofie,
Monty Python at least provides comedy.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  0  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 01:03 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
Don't see any justification in the thesis, it's about doctrins. Why does western europe do better than eastern? There are poor asian countries as wealthy asian countries, don't see any difference in average IQ, only difference in doctrines.
0 Replies
 
2liberty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 01:04 am
@Foofie,
This just my hypothesis, but I suspect that the reason that European Jews look for the most part non-Semitic goes back to Nazi era in Europe. The Nazi killed all the Jews they could get their hands on. Those that looked Jewish were easier targets. Those that did not look Jewish had a better chance of escaping detection or at least delaying their entry into the camps thereby increasing there chances for survival.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 10:46 am
@Miller,
Miller, Good article; it's the first time I've read about APA suicide rates for students. Both our sons did well in school; summa cum laude and cum laude; much better than their dad.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 01:19 pm

Point of Information??

In Jewish families in America,
is English the first language that thay learn ?
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Apr, 2012 11:24 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
Western has much wealthfare and makes youth lazy, lazy people are less smart because they don't have to push themselves to be very smart, the general industry complains about less smart newly educated people these days.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 08:49 am
@engineer,
To piggy-back on your opinion, there have also been studies that intelligence tests were developed by WASPS which gave advantages to other WASPS.

As for superior intelligence of Jews and Asians, that's an oxymoron. Trying to relate intelligence to whole cultures misses the whole point about genes and environment.

For most Asian cultures, those who excelled in study were promoted to the royalty class through competitive examination. The majority of Asians were about as average as they come compared to all other cultures.

The idea of some studies that tries to show that some cultures are not intelligent are based solely on bigotry - and nothing else.
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 09:15 am
@cicerone imposter,
The evidence now suggests that about 35% of the value of an IQ is determined by one's DNA.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 02:02 pm
@Miller,
Can you translate what 35% means to everybody?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 02:19 pm
@Miller,
Miller wrote:

The evidence now suggests that about 35% of the value of an IQ is determined by one's DNA.


Sounds right, though any such talk is heresy...ain't it just a bitch how science keeps getting in the way of our cherished beliefs? It was doing it hundreds of years ago in regards to Christianity, and it still does it now.

Have you got a link?
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 06:27 pm
I have met many Jews that, in my opinion, are below average intelligence. However, the majority of society not being Jewish are aware of those Jews that show superior intelligence. Needless to say, I consider myself smarter than many people, but only average when compared to upper class WASPs of a certain intellectual bent. That might be because upper class WASPs have cloistered themselves in certain enclaves, and therefore many Jews are surrounded by mediocre intelligence, Jewish and non-Jewish.

0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 06:40 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:
WHICH factors ?

Whatever factors are causing the Flynn Effect. People's test scores on IQ tests have increased 15 points over a generation, and whatever caused that, it couldn't have been the genes.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 02:04 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Miller wrote:

The evidence now suggests that about 35% of the value of an IQ is determined by one's DNA.


Sounds right, though any such talk is heresy...ain't it just a bitch how science keeps getting in the way of our cherished beliefs? It was doing it hundreds of years ago in regards to Christianity, and it still does it now.

Have you got a link?


No, I don't have a link but I suspect I read this info in either the NYTimes or the WSJ.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 02:15 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Can you translate what 35% means to everybody?


If 35% of the value of the IQ is due to one's DNA, then 65% of the IQ value is due to what may be called epigenetics/ culture/ or the environment ( education and nutrition for example). Thus, 65% of the IQ value can potentially be modulated, assuming that few significant DNA mutations take place during an individual's life time.

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Apr, 2012 02:42 pm
@Miller,
I think that's an over-simplification of what affects the remaining 65% has on any individual. From my way of seeing the world, it's a lot more than culture and environment. That's the reason why "genius" comes from different parts of the world within the society that also has "dullards."
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Apr, 2012 10:11 am
@Miller,
Miller wrote:

cicerone imposter wrote:

Can you translate what 35% means to everybody?


If 35% of the value of the IQ is due to one's DNA, then 65% of the IQ value is due to what may be called epigenetics/ culture/ or the environment ( education and nutrition for example). Thus, 65% of the IQ value can potentially be modulated, assuming that few significant DNA mutations take place during an individual's life time.




However, if one is raised in an environment that does not value secular education, then what good is the supposedly 35% of genetics that might be genius level? In other words, there are forces afoot that could cancel out the benefit of intelligent genes.

Personally, I believe intelligence correlates loosely to how far back one's family was literate. Meaning that to be literate in the past, one had to have a brain that was able to accomplish that task, when it was not doable by all brains. So, to have an ancestry that was literate for a long time, there may be a greater chance that one's genes include those that correlate to other facets of intelligence. Wouldn't this just be an extrapolation of Darwin?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Apr, 2012 10:30 am
@Foofie,
You're trying to ascribe intelligence to generational ability to read, but that's very limiting. From my POV, it's much more, and more complex.

Genes, environment, opportunity, culture, availability of education, family, community, friends, siblings, parents, and personal observation and perceptions all play a part. How that mix applies to each individual is probably impossible to determine.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Apr, 2012 06:32 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

You're trying to ascribe intelligence to generational ability to read, but that's very limiting. From my POV, it's much more, and more complex.

Genes, environment, opportunity, culture, availability of education, family, community, friends, siblings, parents, and personal observation and perceptions all play a part. How that mix applies to each individual is probably impossible to determine.


Continuing, in my opinion, since many Asian children here in the U.S. go to Asian school, in addition to public school, to learn how to read and write in Chinese, there could be some positive effects by having that young brain learn 2000 or so idiograms (?). You have heard of the Tiger Mother, being the way many Asian mothers raise their children to do their homework, plus hours of studying and perhaps practicing an instrument?

Intelligence can also correlate to the brain exercise one does, while the brain is most maleable, in my opinion. While 10% of NYC is of Asian descent, 65% of Stuyvesant High School (one has to take a test to get in) are Asian. The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
 

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