Risks and barriers: African Americans’ reluctance to seeking mental health treatment
Dyson, Taylor Bianca
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Minimal research exists in reference to African American families and their willingness to attend therapy. The focus of this research study was to determine the reasons African Americans are skeptical to participate in therapy. Some research shows that the number of African Americans that attend therapy continues to rise; however, there continues to be factors that keep African Americans from using therapy as a means to solve problems. A large number of studies provide data explaining potential factors that hinder or distort the views of African American mindsets about why therapy should be utilized in their community. Through a critical race theory lens, the proposed study examined how access and exposure affect African Americans behaviors to seeking mental health treatment. Secondly, the study analyzed whether mental health barriers and religiosity predicted whether African Americans sought mental health treatment. Specifically, this study utilized the secondary data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES), 2001-2003 (534 African American respondents) to consider how insurance access and gatekeeper exposure are associated with mental health treatment. Additionally, whether mental health barriers and religiosity predicted African American behaviors to seeking mental health treatment was also examined. The responses of African American participants who had either access or exposure towards mental health were addressed. The responses of predicting whether religiosity and mental health barriers affecting African Americans from seeking mental health treatment was also addressed. Then, the two research hypotheses were addressed. With respect to the first research hypothesis, “African Americans who have access and exposure will increase their behaviors towards utilizing mental health treatment,” the results of the statistical analysis did support this hypothesis. Regarding the second research hypothesis, “Mental health barriers and religiosity will predict whether African Americans seek mental health treatment,” results were not supportive of this hypothesis. The results from the research showed that African Americans who have access and exposure to mental health treatment are more likely to utilize treatment than those who do not have the same access. However, the research results did not support the hypothesis that mental health barriers and religiosity predicts whether African Americans choose to seek out mental health treatment.