UB researcher studying habits of Asian populations

Sep 16, 2013

A University at Buffalo researcher is starting a new study looking at gambling among elderly Asians in New York City.

That may seem a pretty narrow study but there are more than a million people in that category across the country and the total is rising rapidly.

Wooksoo Kim, associate professor at UB's School of Social Work
Credit buffalo.edu

Associate Social Work Professor Wooksoo Kim says her work is in challenging the idea that Asians are a "model minority."

"That Asians are doing well and they are immune to many behavioral problems, which is not true. Some Asians are doing very well, but most Asians, especially those who are immigrants and the population I am studying, they are not doing that well," Kim says.

Kim just completed a study dealing with heavy drinking among Korean immigrants in Toronto which led to the studying of gambling in New York.

"It is important to expand our knowledge and contribute to the body of knowledge, but at the same time, I want to make sure it's going to be useful to improve the lives of these vulnerable populations," Kim says.

Kim says she has been working with community agencies to find research subjects even as they say there isn't a problem. She says if they are right that's one thing but if she finds there is a problem it will give social work a chance to help those in need of assistance.