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Stress as a Motivation for Asian-Heritage Young Adults’ Rave Participation in Southern California


Using a sample of 32 Asian-heritage young adults, between 19 to 24 years of age, from Southern California, this qualitative study examined the motivations for participation in raves, all-night, electronic dance music events. Results based on semi-structured, in-depth interviews suggest that stress, particularly associated with cultural issues, was a major motivation for participation. Cultural stressors included expectations to be a model minority, high expectations from family, parent-child acculturation differences, and discrimination due to sexual orientation by one’s own ethnic community. Music, collective experience, and drug use at raves were the mechanisms by which stress was reportedly reduced. These findings suggest that raves may provide positive mental health benefits for Asian-heritage young adults.

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