This book should appeal to marriage counselors and to all scholars of South East Asian studies. But more than that it should be very helpful to anyone who is a parent, a spouse, or a child. That is because it gives so much helpful instruction toward improving communication and relationships within marriages and families. It is unique in that it compares the problems and solutions of western family situations with those of the cultures of S.E. Asia and especially with those of the Mien peoples. The author is himself a Mien. He came with his parents and siblings to USA as a refugee after the Vietnam War. The Iu-Mien people number nearly 1,500,000 in S.E. Asia and over 30,000 in North America.

Dr. Chao has made a strong effort to give a balanced comparison of family life among S.E. Asians (both in Asia and in the west) with the norms in the west. This approach helps us to compare our own situations with those of peoples of a much different culture. It is thus of value to family counselors and to other scholars.

It will be especially beneficial to all Mien, whether young or old, both in Asia and in the west. Mien couples can improve their marriages! Mien parents can learn how to improve their relationships with their children! And Mien children can learn how to understand and get along better with their parents and grandparents! Many of the older generation of Mien in the west are still adhering to the cultural mores of life in isolated mountain villages in Laos. But younger Mien in western countries, with all of their smartphones and designer jeans, are living in a completely different world. The "cultural gap" is often wider than the "generation gap" about which we of the west so often grieve. Thus this book is appropriately titled, "Intercultural Communication." The subtitle also is fitting. It says, "Impacts on Marriage and Family Relationships." I pray that it will indeed have a powerful IMPACT for the better in Mien homes and communities.

For those of us who strive to use our English language according to what is currently considered to be "proper," I would like to add this word. We should remember when we see an occasional deviation from how we would normally write that this author did not learn English nor did he have opportunities for any formal education until he was well along in years. And those differences attest to the fact that this volume is indeed the work of a scholar from SE Asia.


C. W. Callaway, retired missionary to Mien people for over 60 years both overseas and in the U.S.



Dr. Youd Sinh Chao’s book on Intercultural Communication is clear and easy to read. It seems very comprehensive relating to the Mien and other cultures in South East Asia dealing with the communication within the family structures.


Lorna Frickel, MA in Religious Education from Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary and author of research paper entitled “Learning Styles In South East Asian Cultures” 1999.


“How fascinating!” I thought as I was reading this book. My dear friend Dr. Youd Sinh Chao has drawn many practical comparisons between his own people group, the Mien, with other ethnic groups and modern American culture.


C. W. Callaway, retired missionary to Mien people for over 60 years both overseas and in the U.S.



This is the first book about the Mien people with a focus on marriages and family relationships. Written from an emic view, the book clearly portrays Mien cultural practices, family relationships, gender roles, and communication styles. The book provides many insights about the ever-changing Mien family dynamics especially helpful to social service workers and therapists/counselors working with Mien families. It is also a resource for the second generation Mien to understand their cultural heritage and family matters. I highly recommend it.


Chiem-Seng Yaangh, PhD/MSW
Educator, Researcher, Community Leader
Board President of United



In his groundbreaking book, Dr. Youd Sinh addresses the impact of these issues on the multi- generational Mien people and families who have immigrated to the United States. Dr. Youd Sinh does not write merely from an academic or philosophical perspective; he has personally experienced these complexities and challenges, having come to the United States in the mid‘80s.


Vincent L. Inzerillo D. Min
Language Missions Director, Northwest Baptist Convention/SBC
Senior Pastor of New Harvest Church in Portland, Oregon



As a marriage therapist and teacher from Asian descent, I often read with an eye to the exquisite cultural treasures I may be able to bring to the classroom and clinical setting. As a journal reviewer, I read research looking for valuable applications to the contemporary world of couples and families. This book offers insights into the Mien culture and family dynamics based on Chao’s research on the Mien’s couples and his clinical work with them. Chao has given us a truly practitioner-friendly guide in working with the Mien community. This inspiring book is an important addition to the growing field of Asian American studies.


Karen Quek
Associate Professor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at

Alliant International University

Copyright 2013 Dr. Youd Sinh Chao. All Rights Reserved.