Cultural influences on help-seeking attitudes in Asian American students

Julia Y Ting, Wei-Chin Hwang
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 2009, 79 (1): 125-32
There is considerable evidence indicating that Asian American college students have less favorable attitudes toward and are less likely to use mental health services than other ethnic groups in the United States. Because a person's attitudes are often strongly associated with their voluntary behaviors, understanding what influences help-seeking attitudes may help shed light on why Asian American college students refrain from seeking mental health treatment. Andersen's Sociobehavioral Model is commonly used as a guide to understand help-seeking in the mainstream population. A modified version of this model that includes culture-related variables (i.e., level of acculturation and stigma tolerance) was used to guide this study. Results indicated that stigma tolerance predicted help-seeking attitudes above and beyond traditional variables associated with help-seeking. These findings suggest that reducing societal stigma and increasing individual tolerance to stigma should be a focus for prevention and intervention programs on college campuses.

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