Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Depressive Symptomatology and Attitudes Toward Seeking Mental Health Services as a Function of Country of Origin and Perceived Barriers in a Sample of Mexican Americans
by Chavez, Yolanda, Ph.D., Alliant International University, 2013, 78; 3554675
Abstract (Summary)

The disparity in the access of mental health care among the Latino population is of major concern given that Latinos represent the largest minority in the United States with figures expected to increase in coming years (Kouyoumdiliand, Zamboanga, & Hasen, 2003). One explanation for that disparity is that members of the Latino community may have negative attitudes about seeking mental health services (Nadeem et al., 2007). This study examined the extent to which depressive symptomatology and attitudes toward seeking mental health services differ between the Mexican born population and U.S. born Mexican- American population. To test the relationship between country of origin and manifestation of somatic physical depressive symptoms (as measured by the Somatic Symptom Inventory), an analysis of covariance controlling for gender and income was conducted. No significant difference was found by country of origin (F (1, 80) = 0.01, p = .915). To test the relationship between country of origin and presentation of affective depressive symptoms, an analysis of covariance controlling for income level was conducted using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). No significant differences were found for the total CES-D score ( F (1, 66) = 2.49, p = .120) nor for the CES-D Affective subscale (F (1, 67) = 3.03, p = .086). To test the relationship between country of origin and attitudes towards seeking mental health services, an analysis of variance was conducted. Unexpectedly, the results showed that the Mexican born sample had higher scores on the Help Seeking Propensity subscale (t (83) = -2.10, one-tailed p = .012) than U.S. born Mexican Americans. No significant differences were found between the other two subscales of the attitudes towards seeking mental health services, Psychological Openness (t (82) = 1.17, one-tailed p = .124) and Indifference to Stigma subscale (t (83) = 0.33, one-tailed p =.373). To test the relationships between Perceived Barriers (irrespective of country of origin) and attitudes towards seeking mental health services, partial correlations analyses were conducted, controlling for income and education. No significant relationships were found between Perceived Barriers and Psychological Openness subscale p = 0.284, Seeking Propensity subscale p = 0.124, or Indifference to Stigma subscale p = 0.188.The results of this study are discussed in terms of unexpected findings and recommendations for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mendoza, Richard H.
Commitee: Duran, Ron, Garbanati, James
School: Alliant International University
Department: Los Angeles, CSPP
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Latin American Studies, Clinical psychology, Hispanic American studies
Keywords: Affective, Depression, Mexican, Mexican american, Somatic
Publication Number: 3554675
ISBN: 9781267949950
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