The Role of Values Enculturation, Mental Health Stigma, & Attitudes about Treatment on Help-Seeking Intent among Latinos
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
de St. Aubin, Ed.
The current study examined how attitudes about psychological treatment and stigma toward mental illness influence the relationship between Latino cultural values (i.e., values enculturation) and their intention to seek psychological services. Using a sample of 220 Latino adults, multiple mediation analyses examined if the relationship between enculturation, operationalized as cultural pride and familismo; and intent to seek help from mental health provider was mediated by Latinos’ attitudes about psychological treatment (i.e., stigma tolerance and belief in psychologists’ expertness) and stigma toward mental illness. Further, it was hypothesized that depression would moderate the mediational pathway. The major findings indicated the Latino value of cultural pride is indirectly related to help-seeking intentions through Latinos’ beliefs in psychologist’ expertise. Although expertness did mediate the relationship between values enculturation and help-seeking intent, the addition of depression as a moderator was not significant — the finding that expertness mediated the relationship between Latino cultural pride and intent highlights the importance of trust and confidence in psychologists as a significant predictor of help-seeking intentions. Further interpretation of these findings, theoretical implications, and future directions are discussed.