The American Mental Illness Olympics

The race to acquire a serious mental illness (SMI) is a race you “DO NOT” want to win, and Asians earned last place. If you are among the 97% of Asian-Americans without a SMI, thank your Tough Love parents.

To the average Caucasian-American parent, in a perfect world, all dreams come true and everyone is having fun and enjoys life daily.

That is the foundation of the self-esteem movement, which turned the average American parent into a SAP (a member of the Self-esteem arm of Political Correctness).

Here is more evidence that Tough Love parents, the Amy Chua’s of the world, are right while the SAPs are wrong.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 2008 said that Asian-Americans (coming in fifth in the mental illness Olympics) had the lowest prevalence of SMIs by race, while Caucasians took the gold medal; Latinos the bronze and Africa-Americas came in fourth.

American Indian/Alaska Natives took the silver SMI medal.

The most disturbing comparison was the one between young and old. Those 18 to 24 had four times the SMIs than people over fifty had. It is obvious that SAPs did not raise older Americans. I am sixty-five and my parents did not score high on the Amy Chua Tough Love scale, but they were not SAPs.

Another NIMH study says, “Moreover, African-Americans and Mexican-Americans were significantly less likely to seek treatment than whites.” There is no mention of Asians in this study.

The evidence suggests that Amy Chua’s Tough Love methods (or Tough Love parenting methods in general) lead to adults better able to cope with the challenges and stresses of life that most “will” face.

Self-Discipline may be the key to controlling mental health.

In addition, success at completing college shows that the average Asian Tough Love parent is more successful than all other parenting methods.

The National Center for Education Statistics (IES) said, “Bachelor’s degree completion rates of students seeking a bachelor’s degree at 4-year institutions varied by student characteristics, including race/ethnicity and sex. Asian/Pacific Islander students had the highest 6-year graduation rate, followed by White, Hispanic, Black, and American Indian/Alaska Native students.”

If whites were so successful at earning college degrees (since they were second place), why did they come in first in the SMI Olympics—the race you want to lose?

In fact, the IES says, “The educational systems that outperformed the United States in fourth-grade mathematics—namely, Chinese Taipei, England, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, the Russian Federation, and Singapore — all were located in Asia or Europe (where Tough Love parenting methods prevail).”

I’m confident that most American SAPs will continue to criticize Amy Chua’s Chinese-American Tough Love parenting style for being too demanding.

I’m also confident that most American SAPs will keep blaming US schools and teachers for the lack of student performance.

However, the average number of minutes (less than 5 a day) that s SAP parent in the US talks to his or her average SAP child that spends an average 10 hours a day watching TV or playing video games, or texting or social networking on Facebook shows who is really to blame for winning the SMI Olympics, and it is not Amy Chua.

I wonder how many of Amy Chua’s critics have placed at the SMI Olympics.

Discover more at In Defense of Tiger Mothers Everywhere


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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7 Responses to The American Mental Illness Olympics

  1. marx says:

    well i say one last thing: ask scientists which understand paedagogical and psychological relations and than you’ll see: from a scientific view, the methods of amy chua are wrong.
    this isn’t a question of a belief. it’s a fact.
    pedagogic and psychology in asia are still in the middleage

    • Marx,

      Of course, if one were to ask some so-called Western experts on this topic, many would say that Amy Chua’s methods are wrong but that does not mean they are correct. Anyone that fancies themselves an expert may claim anything, and at one time experts claimed the world was flat and that all the stars and our own sun revolved around the earth.

      In fact, raising children is not an exact science and if we were to take the advice of the Old Testament on raising children, Amy Chua’s methods would be closer than most—the word of God must count for something.

      In addition, one of the world’s leading experts in self-esteem would disagree with many of your so-called pedagogic and psychological scientists, who may just be telling people what people want to hear. The pressure of a mob, any mob, is terrible to resist.

      I suggest reading what Jean M. Twenge Ph.D has to say on this subject. Dr. Twenge is the author of “The Narcissism Epidemic” and an expert on the topic.

      Dr. Twenge also wrote a piece in “Psychology Today” on this topic, and the piece was called “Why Chinese Mothers Really are Superior” (On Average).

      Dr. Twenge says, “It’s not stereotyping when it’s right.… Asian Americans have the lowest self-esteem of any ethnic group in the U.S., but achieve the best academic performance (and, among adults, the lowest unemployment rate).…”

      “On average,” Dr. Twenge says, “Asian parents use more discipline and insist upon hard work more than Western parents. And on average, their kids do better….”


  2. marx says:

    “…And some of the national data point to a need for increased vigilance and treatment: Asian-American females, for instance, have the highest suicide rates among American females in the 15-24 age group, and Asian-American women who are 65 or older are 10 times more likely to commit suicide than are their white counterparts, according to numbers compiled by the Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS).

    • Marx,

      Please provide a direct link to this data.

      In addition, when you resort to ad hominem attacks and insults, I do not approve those comments and they are banned from this site.

      In addition, when you provide a link, explain what it is for. Don’t just throw a link in a post. I won’t approve those.

      In a post that was not approved, you said, “further you are that stupid… you would be a good member of the nordkorean [I think you meant North Korean] society…”

      Both of these are what is called ad hominem comments and are not acceptable on this Blog. If you want to express yourself, do it without insults.

      And yes, Asian-American teens have the lowest incidence of HIV/AIDS, STDs, lowest suicide rate, teen pregnancies, drug use, alcohol use, but they do have the highest graduation rate, the highest college attendance and graduation rate, the highest marriage rate, the lowest divorce rate, the highest average family income, the lowest unemployment rate, lowest prison rate, etc.

      Why is this so? Could the reason be because people that are willing to leave their homeland are willing to take more risks and work harder to earn a better life and yet Asians are the most difficult racial group to assimilate into Western culture?

      “Sociological research has also found that the strength of the child’s relationship with his/her parents [Note: which is usually very strong in Asian homes influenced by Confucianism such as Amy Chua’s youth growing up in a home with two parents that were born in China and raised by Chinese parents], along with the level of his/her attachment to the ethnic community also play important roles in determining ethnic identity among second generation Asian Americans. For example, if child-parent relationship is strong and healthy, the child is more likely to take on the parent’s identity, whatever that may be (i.e., national origin, hyphenated American, pan-Asian, or just “American”). However, if the child has conflicts with his/her parents, the more likely the child will identify differently from the parent.”


      However, 13.6% of Asian children under the age of 18 live in poverty (2010).


      The University of Michigan National Poverty Center

      • Marx,

        I have been accused of being a “China apologist” by one of China’s enemies, which sounds as if I go about excusing the negative aspects of Chinese culture or the alleged bad actions of the Chinese Communist Party.

        However, there is a difference between an unsubstantiated accusation and irrefutable facts that prove something bad may not have taken place as China’s enemies accuse. For example, there is no reputable evidence that says Mao’s Cultural Revolution did not take place, so I have never written a post that offers another perspective on this decade since there are no valid, reputable sources to say this didn’t happen. Mao’s Cultural Revolution did happen. Mao set it in motion, put his wife in charge and tens of millions of Chinese teenagers and young people carried it forward while China’s military sat back and did not interfere or take part except for a few incidences where the PLA stepped in to protect historical sites such as the Forbidden City from being burned to the ground by the Cultural Revolution mob. The Cultural Revolution was a popular movement that resulted in horrible tragedies. This is a fact that cannot be denied as we cannot deny the Nazi Holocaust that took place in Europe before and during World War II.

        Nevertheless, there is valid, reputable evidence that the famine that took place during the Great Leap Forward was not a deliberate act by Mao or the CCP and there is evidence that in 1989, students were not shot and killed in Tiananmen Square. Even the CCP admits that there were shootings and killings in other parts of Beijing as students and other people battled with Chinese troops, but there is no evidence that killings took place in Tiananmen Square. There is also valid, reputable evidence that the 1989 movement started out as a protest against government corruption and was never meant to be a democracy movement—the so-called democracy movement came later when college students joined the protests and the student movement was not well organized. In addition, the CCP, after several weeks of protests, warned the protesters to break it up and go home and these warnings went on for days before the troops were sent in.

        In fact, the opposite of being an apologist is to be an enemy of China, and from your words, I see that you are China’s enemy. To clarify, this means you are an adversary of China, a personal enemy, an opponent.

        As such, how can anyone expect you to be impartial? If you make accusations of China, support them with reputable facts [with links]—that is if you can tell the difference between an opinion and a fact and how reputable a fact might be depending on the source.

        In addition, there are other meanings for the word apologist such as “defend, explain, and clear away… or “show to be right by providing justification or proof,” which is what I do on this Blog to explain the other side of the accusations China’s enemies make, such as you.

        There is also irrefutable, valid, reputable evidence in the West that since the CCP has ruled China, more people live longer and have a better quality of life than at any time in China’s history. In addition, although there are limits on freedom of political expression and choice of religion, more Chinese have more freedom of expression than at any time in China’s history.

        I’m not going to spend time digging up all of those facts or links since I’ve already used them in other posts. Through social programs and innovation, in the last thirty years, China is responsible for 90% of global poverty reduction and all inside China.

        Is there still room for improvement? Yes and the CCP has admitted this.

        Does China have challenges to overcome? Yes and dealing with corruption at the local level is one of those challenges.

        Has China done nothing to deal with corruption? No, thousands of Party members have been tried in court and found guilty. Most went to prison and some were executed for their crimes.

  3. marx says:

    you misunderstand selfdisciplin and discipline.
    discipline is made on the base of fear (amy chua’s method)
    selfdiscipline is made on the own will. succes on colleges (notes) is very important for you, i see….it is very funny how you ignore the fact, that in china and other asian countries the numbers of mental disorders increase extremely.
    you are a fan of china i see…lost your mind there.. but you ignore the fact, that in asia more children kill themselves than in any other places, because of amy chuas school-methods…

    • Marx,

      I’ve already had this debate with Amy Chua Critics on the Amazon threat of her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. You see, whenever anyone makes a claim or complain about China, I start researching and looking for reputable Western sources to see if those complains are valid and in almost every incident, they are not.

      I seldom if ever counter opinions with opinions. Instead, I counter opinions with facts and when possible I cite those facts with links to reputable sources such as the CIA Factbook or the National Institute of Health, etc. I have even cited studies of China [on other topics] that were conducted and published for the US Congress.

      Where are your links from reputable sources to support your claims? I see that you are perpetuating the myth that mothers such as Amy Chua cause suicides and that more children kill themselves in Asia than any other places, which is WRONG!

      The facts supported by reputable sources say otherwise. This reminds me of China’s rail accident critics which is often the case when it comes to a China critic. Something happens in China, blow it all out of proportion and make sure to never mention that the same thing happens in other countries or provide a links to reputable sources to support your opinion.

      I recommend reading a post I wrote debunking the myth you support about suicides at “Amy Chua’s Suicide Critics” found here

      When debating or arguing with China critics, people such as you seldom provide links to reputable sources and if they do supply links they usually end up on another site with another opinion that also is unsupported.

      You claim I am a fan of China. Not true. My interest is in the truth and that’s why spend so much time looking for evidence and facts to see if what people, such as yourself, claims is valid or not and when I discover those claims are not valid, I wrote posts and usually provide links to the evidence.

      Instead, when push comes to shove, the China critic will start asking loaded questions that are designed to mislead and plant doubt into the mind of the uneducated.

      In fact, when there was an outcry in the US and the Western media about suicides at the factories in China that assemble Apple products, I proved in another post that the ratio was much lower than the average suicide rate in China, which should tell us that the majority of workers at those factories were better off than most people in China that are driven to take their lives.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

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