Historically, the multicultural psychology literature has focused primarily on Latinx, Asian/Asian Americans, Black/African Americans, and Native American Indians (BIPOC), and those groups are more frequently represented in general psychology research (Allen et al, 2022; Allen & Smith, 2015; Case & Smith, 2000).
Pasifika/Pacific Islanders have been substantially underrepresented in all aspects of psychological research. A few studies have examined Native Hawaiians and/or Pacific Islanders in general (McCubbin, 2006; McCubbin & Dang, 2010; McCubbin, Ishikawa & McCubbin, 2007), but very little empirical investigation has specifically focused on Pacific Islanders as it relates to their psychological well-being and psychotherapy interventions and strategies in the United States as well as abroad (Allen et al, 2022; Allen et al, 2016; Allen, Garriott, Reyes & Hsieh, 2013; Allen & Heppner, 2011; Allen, Kim, Smith & Hafoka, 2016).
For decades, Pacific Islanders have been lumped under the Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander census category (AAPI or API), but they represent a group that is unique culturally, historically, linguistically, spiritually, and religiously. In order to obtain accurate and valid research findings on Pacific Islanders, this "ethnic lumping" (Allen, Kim, Smith & Hafoka, 2016) and oversimplifying/categorizing of ethnic groups needs to be addressed and resolved. Research about Pacific Islanders can not only provide necessary descriptions of unique and specific cultural characteristics but also facilitate understanding of relevant psychological processes and psychotherapies within the Pasifika cultural context (e.g., Allen et al, 2022; Allen et al, 2016; Allen & Smith, 2015; Allen, Kim, Smith & Hafoka, 2016; McCubbin, 2006).
G. E. Kawika Allen, PhD
FB Poly Psi Profile: G. E. Kawika Allen