Date of Award

Summer 2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Gerdes, Alyson C.

Second Advisor

Grych, John

Third Advisor

Saunders, Stephen

Abstract

Latino youth experience similar or higher rates of mental health problems including ADHD, as compared to non-Latino children in the United States. They also are less likely to receive services due to a variety of access barriers and cultural factors which Latino families commonly experience. Behavioral help-seeking models have been developed to help explain the discrepancies between need and utilization for ethnically-diverse youth. Little research to date has investigated the impact of culture and parental beliefs of child behavior throughout the help-seeking process, including the beginning stage of problem recognition. Thus, the goal of the current study was to examine different acculturation factors as well as parental cognitions and their ability to predict correct identification of ADHD symptoms as problematic for Latino parents across different settings (i.e., home, school, peers, overall). Participants included 72 Latino parents who had at least one child between the ages of 5 and 12. Results indicated that several of the behavioral and cognitive acculturation factors were related to different problem recognition factors, including Anglo behavioral orientation, and the cultural values of familism and respect. In addition, the parental cognition of Child Control was related to several of the ADHD problem recognition variables. The findings have important implications for understanding the influence of culture and parent's perceptions of child behavior and mental illness on the process of identifying child behavior problems. In addition, results from this study can be helpful for providing cultural-sensitive assessment and intervention to Latino youth and their families.

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