Date of Award

7-19-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Ben C.H. Kuo

Keywords

Black Canadian, Help-Seeking, Mental Health, Theory of Planned Behaviour

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND

Abstract

The aim of this present study was to test the ability of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) model (Ajzen, 1991) in explaining psychological help-seeking intention in a sample of 387 community-based Black Canadians. This study further examined: a) an expanded TPB psychological help-seeking model that includes self-stigma and public stigma; and b) a culturally-expanded TPB model of psychological help-seeking that includes cultural variables unique to Black Canadians (e.g., cultural mistrust and afrocultural beliefs). The results showed that TPB was not an adequate fitting model for the data. Furthermore, the addition of stigma and culturally-relevant variables did not improve the TPB’s ability to explain Black Canadian help-seeking intention. However, a final respecified model was found to be a good fit for the data. An open-ended question was also included to gain a greater understanding of how Black Canadians would improve utilization of mental health services in their community. Participants emphasized making mental health services more available and accessible to Black Canadians; educating Black Canadians more about mental health and mental illness; and reducing the stigma surrounding the use of mental health services. Overall, the findings of this study revealed the important roles of perceived behavioural control, self-stigma, and afrocultural strength beliefs as the antecedents to help-seeking intention. It is hoped that the study’s findings might help better inform mental health initiatives that are designed to address the issues of underutilization of psychological services and mental illness stigma among Black Canadians, and to help encourage Black Canadians to access mental health services.

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