Perceived Norms and Mental 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: 1.37). 08/2008; 36(3):285-99. DOI: 10.1007/s11414-008-9138-y
Source: PubMed


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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    ABSTRACT: In Western societies, groups with a minority ethnic background are under-represented in formal mental health care. However, it is unknown if minority ethnic victims of child sexual abuse differ from majority ethnic victims regarding help-seeking behavior. This study used a multi-method design to investigate the prevalence of (in)formal help-seeking after child sexual abuse and the role of attitudes toward gender roles and sexuality among the Dutch minority ethnic and majority ethnic victims. We also examined differences in reasons not to seek help. Quantitative survey data on help-seeking patterns among 1,496 child sexual abuse victims were collected. Four qualitative focus groups with professionals working in the field of child sexual abuse and minority ethnic groups explored help-seeking behavior. No significant ethnic differences emerged in help-seeking rates. A main effect for gender role attitudes appeared: respondents with more liberal gender role attitudes were more likely to disclose than conservative respondents. Additionally, there was an interaction effect between ethnicity and gender role attitudes, indicating that, contrary to the main effect, young people of Moroccan and Turkish heritage with more liberal gender role attitudes were less likely to disclose the abuse. Reasons for not seeking help differed among groups. Focus group members emphasized the mistrust toward counselors and perceptions that inhibit minority ethnic youth from seeking help.
    Culture Health & Sexuality 06/2015; 18(1). 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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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the relationship between religiosity and conduct problems in a racially diverse sample of high school aged adolescents (ages 13–19) who attended public schools in a large metropolitan area. The results of the study found racial and gender differences in religiosity: African American adolescents were more likely to attend church, describe themselves as very religious and use Collaborative and Deferring religious coping styles; they were less likely to use Self-Directing religious coping styles when compared to Caucasian adolescents. Females were more likely to be involved in church activities, use a Collaborative religious coping style and tended to be less likely to use a Self-Directing religious coping style when compared to males. The results of multiple regression analyses, after controlling for race, gender, and self-reported religiousness found that Self-Directing and Deferring religious coping styles were risk factors for conduct problems; there was no relationship between Collaborative religious coping and conduct problems. The findings from the study provide additional support for the importance of considering religiosity, race and gender when examining mental health outcomes in adolescents and have implications for the development of mental health interventions for adolescents.
    Journal of Child and Family Studies 01/2012; 22(1). DOI:10.1007/s10826-012-9584-2 · 1.42 Impact Factor
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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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    ABSTRACT: A comparison of institutional enrollment data and counseling center service utilization data at 66 universities showed that neither ethnic minority students nor European American students under-or overutilized counseling services (Study 1). Data from Study 2 examining students in the general campus bodies at 45 institutions indicated that utilization of counseling center services for students of various ethnicities was predicted by the ethnic composition of the counseling center staff. Among students of color, utilization of campus counseling services was predicted by greater psychological distress, less family support, and a history of previous psychological problems.
    Journal of College Counseling 01/2011; 14.
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