Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kuo, Ben Chung-Hsing (Psychology)

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Attempts to address systemic barriers to accessing mental health services have often been unable to generate adequate credibility and improve service use among members of ethnic minority communities. Such outcomes have resulted in calls to consider the role of psychological and cultural factors in the underutilization of mental health services. The present study examines psychological and cultural antecedents to seeking professional psychological help among Canadians of African descent (N=193). Using path analysis, Cramer's (1999) model of psychological help-seeking behaviour was tested for its generalizability to Canadians of African descent. Overall, Cramer's model did not fit the data however the majority of the help-seeking pathways were replicated. Culture-specific variables (i.e., cultural mistrust, Africentrism, and africultural coping) were introduced to expand Cramer's original model. Two culturally based models were tested for improved model fit. Although these culturally based models did not adequately fit the data, the cultural pathways demonstrated a significant influence on the help-seeking process. A respecified model based on the results of these analyses adequately fit the data (chi-squared(39, N=193) = 50.103, p = .110; CFI = .969; RMSEA = .039; GFI = .957; TLI = .957), providing additional support for culturally indicated pathways to seeking professional psychological help. Implications of these findings are discussed and form the basis of recommendations for mental health promotion campaigns and the delivery of culturally competent mental health services in Canadian communities of African descent. Recommendations are made for future investigations.

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