Thesis

ETHNIC AND GENDER DIFFERENCES IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE UTILIZATION IN EMERGING ADULT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

The purpose of this study was to examine differences between genders (i.e., men, women) and ethnic groups (i.e., Asian, Black, Latino, Middle Eastern, White) in private stigma toward mental health services, public stigma toward mental health services, attitudes toward seeking mental health services, and 17 potential reasons for seeking mental health services. Self-report survey data were collected from 1,401 students in a public university in Southern California designated as a minority serving institution. This study found that men had a significantly more negative attitude towards mental health treatment and were less likely to seek treatment than women. Also, Asians were significantly less likely to seek mental health services, had the most negative attitude toward mental health services, and reported more private stigma than other ethnic groups. There were no significant differences between ethnic groups or genders in public stigma toward mental health services. Although generation status and age were examined as covariates, and they were found to be significantly related to private stigma and attitudes towards mental health, neither covariate substantially changed the results of the univariate analyses demonstrating gender and ethnic differences.

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