Article

Differences in Professional and Informal Help Seeking among Older African Americans, Black Caribbeans and Non-Hispanic Whites.

Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research 12/2010; 1(3):124-139. DOI: 10.5243/jsswr.2010.10
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study uses a national probability sample of older adults to examine racial and ethnic differences in the use of professional services and informal support for a stressful personal problem. Using data from the National Survey of American Life, this study focuses on African Americans, Black Caribbean immigrants, and Whites aged 55 years and older who experienced a personal problem that caused them significant distress (n=862). Multinomial logistic regression is used to estimate the association of race with the use of professional services only, informal support only, both professional services and informal support, or no help at all, while controlling for demographic and socioeconomic variables, characteristics of the informal support network, the type of problem experienced, and experiences of racial discrimination. Examining the use of professional services and informal support provides a more complete picture of racial and ethnic differences of help-seeking behaviors among older adults, and the factors associated with the sources from which these adults request help. Most respondents use informal support alone or in combination with professional services. Black Caribbeans are more likely than African Americans to rely on informal support only, whereas African Americans are more likely than Whites to not receive help. However, these findings are accounted for by differences in social support and experiences of discrimination.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Harold W Neighbors, Jun 18, 2015
0 Followers
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Endorsement of psychotic symptoms serves as an indicator of significant health issues and interpersonal distress. Seeking services is the ultimate recourse for many individuals, yet few studies have assessed the help-seeking process in a nationally representative sample. This study, guided by Lewis-Fernández et al.'s (J Nerv Ment Dis 197(5):337-347, 2009) analyses, examined the association of lifetime endorsement of psychotic symptoms with demographic, clinical and support system variables and types of services received. Based on nationally weighted epidemiological data, 11.6 % of adults reported one or more psychotic symptoms. Psychotic symptoms were associated with poor physical and mental health, specifically depressive, anxiety, and substance use disorders. Respondents were more likely to receive services from both informal and mental health providers and were more likely to be hospitalized than those not endorsing psychotic symptoms. Study findings inform community efforts to develop comprehensive services for individuals experiencing psychotic symptoms.
    Community Mental Health Journal 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10597-015-9850-z · 1.03 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For families under stress, positive grandparental relationships provide a valued 'safety net'. However, coping with family stressors can place a heavy burden on older individuals who may be experiencing declining health/energy themselves. This mixed-methods study assessed the prevalence of distress in grandparents of children with, and without, cancer, aiming to identify predictors of grandparental distress and quantify their barriers to care. Two hundred twenty-one grandparents [87 cancer group; 134 controls; mean age 65.47 years (SD = 6.97); 33.5% male] completed self-report questionnaires assessing distress, anxiety, depression, anger, 'need for help', support use, and barriers to psychosocial care. A higher proportion of grandparents in the cancer group reported clinically relevant distress (32.9% vs. 12.7%; p < 0.001), anxiety (48.8% vs. 23.9%; p < 0.001), depression (24.4% vs. 6.0%; p < 0.001), and anger (23.5% vs. 6.8%; p = 0.001). In the cancer group, distress was higher in grandmothers and in families with fewer siblings. Grandparents rarely accessed evidence-based psychosocial support (<5% in both groups), although grandparents of children with cancer were more likely to seek religious/spiritual support. Barriers to help seeking included lack of knowledge and rurality. Grandparents of children with cancer qualitatively described undisclosed feelings of uncertainty and helplessness and provided advice to other grandparents to facilitate their coping. Grandparents of children with cancer were clearly more distressed than controls. Grandparents' capacity to support their families may be limited by their own, untreated, distress. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Psycho-Oncology 08/2014; 23(8). DOI:10.1002/pon.3513 · 4.04 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study used data from the National Survey of American Life to investigate the use of professional services and informal support among African Americans, black Caribbeans, and non-Hispanic whites. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine the association of race and perceived discrimination with the use of professional services only, informal support only, both professional services and informal support, or no help at all. Fifty-one percent of the sample used both professional services and informal support, 16% relied on professional services only, 20% used informal support only, and 13% did not seek help. Before controlling for other factors, African Americans and black Caribbeans were significantly less likely to receive either professional or informal help compared with whites. When everyday racial discrimination was included, racial differences in not seeking help were no longer significant. Household income also influenced the relationship between race and help-seeking. Other factors significantly associated with help-seeking include age, gender, education, employment status, insurance coverage, type and severity of disorder, and subjective closeness to family and friends. The association of these factors and implication of the findings for future research and mental health service delivery will be discussed. KeywordsService use–Social support–Race and ethnicity–Discrimination–Mental illness
    Race and Social Problems 10/2011; 3(3):146-159. DOI:10.1007/s12552-011-9049-z