Thesis

Acculturation and barriers experienced by families receiving treatment for ADHA

The present study explored participants’ reports of acculturation and barriers experienced when utilizing outpatient mental health services. Participants were primary caregivers for children who received treatment at a specialized ADHD clinic. Thirty-nine participants completed a modified version of Larson’s (2013) Barriers to Children’s Mental Health Care Survey (BCMHCS) to explore tangible barriers (i.e., transportation problems, difficulty navigating the health care system) and intangible barriers (e.g., stigma, fears about medications) to mental health services. Marin and Gamba’s (1996) Bidimensional Acculturation Scale (BAS) was also used to measure participants’ acculturation affiliations to the Hispanic and Anglo-American cultures. Hypothesis one found that Latino participants did not report significantly higher ratings of intangible barriers than Caucasian participants. The findings indicate a moderately strong negative relationship between acculturation and intangible barriers. Hypothesis two found that participants who reported lower acculturation to the Anglo-American culture, did not report higher levels of intangible barriers. Exploratory analyses found that participants who completed the BCMHCS in Spanish reported significantly more tangible barriers than participants who completed the scale in English. Participants whose children were prescribed psychotropic medications, reported significantly higher stress than participants whose children were not prescribed medications. In the discussion section, limitations, and implications of the study are discussed.

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