Race-ethnicity as a predictor of attitudes toward mental health treatment seeking

Ruth Shim, Michael T. Compton, George Rust, Benjamin G. Druss, Nadine J. Kaslow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Previous research on mental health disparities shows that persons from racial-ethnic minority groups have less access to mental health care, engage in less treatment, and receive poorer-quality treatment than non-Hispanic whites. Attitudes and beliefs about mental health treatment were examined to determine whether they contribute to these disparities. Methods: Data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) were analyzed to determine attitudes toward treatment-seeking behavior among people of non-Hispanic white, African-American, and Hispanic or Latino race-ethnicity. Additional sociodemographic variables were examined in relation to attitudes and beliefs toward treatment. Results: African-American race-ethnicity was a significant independent predictor of greater reported willingness to seek treatment and lesser reported embarrassment if others found out about being in treatment. These findings persisted when analyses adjusted for socioeconomic variables. Hispanic or Latino race-ethnicity also was associated with an increased likelihood of willingness to seek professional help and lesser embarrassment if others found out, but these differences did not persist after adjustment for the effects of socioeconomic variables. Conclusions: Contrary to the initial hypothesis, African Americans and Hispanics or Latinos may have more positive attitudes toward mental health treatment seeking than non-Hispanic whites. To improve access to mental health services among racial-ethnic minority groups, it is crucial to better understand a broader array of individual-, provider-, and system-level factors that may create barriers to care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1336-1341
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatric Services
Volume60
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Mental Health
Hispanic Americans
African Americans
Minority Groups
Therapeutics
Ethnic Groups
Health Services Accessibility
Mental Health Services
Comorbidity
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Race-ethnicity as a predictor of attitudes toward mental health treatment seeking. / Shim, Ruth; Compton, Michael T.; Rust, George; Druss, Benjamin G.; Kaslow, Nadine J.

In: Psychiatric Services, Vol. 60, No. 10, 01.10.2009, p. 1336-1341.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Shim, Ruth ; Compton, Michael T. ; Rust, George ; Druss, Benjamin G. ; Kaslow, Nadine J. / Race-ethnicity as a predictor of attitudes toward mental health treatment seeking. In: Psychiatric Services. 2009 ; Vol. 60, No. 10. pp. 1336-1341.
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