Article

Perceived Norms and Mental Health Help Seeking among African American College Students

Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Hampton House 808, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.
The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research (Impact Factor: 1.03). 08/2008; 36(3):285-99. DOI: 10.1007/s11414-008-9138-y
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In general, African Americans do not seek mental health treatment from formal sources at the same rates as Caucasians. The present study examined whether culturally relevant factors (i.e., perceived negative peer and family norms about help seeking) influence help-seeking intentions in a late adolescent African-American sample (n = 219) and whether there is a gender difference in the predictive strength between peer and family norms. Participants were primarily female (n = 144). Multiple regressions were implemented to explore the relationship between perceived norms and help-seeking intentions. Analyses revealed that males had higher perceived peer norms, and family norms were a stronger predictor of intentions than peer norms for females. Individually, peer norms and family norms were related to help-seeking intentions. When perceived norms were analyzed together, only negative family norms were related to intentions. Findings suggest that incorporating family norms is critical when developing interventions to increase formal service utilization among African Americans.

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    • "In cultures where talking about sexuality is a taboo, it can be difficult to disclose child sexual abuse to others (Gilligan and Akhtar 2006). Moreover, in some cultures, the best way to deal with psychological problems is to avoid talking about them (Barksdale and Molock 2009; Ting and Hwang 2009). Cultural differences in family networks have a role to play in phase 3 (Tata and Leong 1994). "
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    Culture Health & Sexuality 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/13691058.2015.1062144 · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    • "were used to assess public religious participation for this study. This measure has been used in studies with both African American adolescents (Molock et al. 1994) and young adult samples (Barksdale and Molock 2009) and has been found to be highly correlated with other measures of religiosity (e.g., religious coping; self-reported level of religiousness). The Cronbach's alpha was calculated to evaluate the internal reliability the entire scale, yielding an estimate of .86. "
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    • "One reason that university counseling center service utilization may be inconsistent across racial and ethnic groups is that some minority students prefer to seek treatment from racial/ethnic minority providers, who often are in short supply (Barksdale & Molock, 2009; Thompson, Bazile, & Akbar, 2004; Townes, Chavez-Korell, & Cunningham, 2009). Racial/ethnic minority students may be hesitant to seek treatment from European American providers because of factors such as cultural mistrust, peer norms related to self-reliance, family norms pertaining to privacy, " double stigma " related to racism and mental illness, and doubts about the availability of culturally sensitive services (Barksdale & Molock, 2009; Braithwaite, Taylor, & Treadwell, 2009; Whaley, 2001). When racial/ ethnic minority patients do seek services from European American treatment providers, some researchers have suggested that those patients are at increased risk for premature termination (Kearney, Draper, & Baron, 2005; Terrell & Terrell, 1984; Wade & Bernstein, 1991), although this finding has not been replicated uniformly (Maramba & Hall, 2002; Shin et al., 2005). "
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Crystal Barksdale