By Deborah Ojeda
An Undergraduate Honors Thesis Defended 2011
The aims of this study are to explore the importance of providing culturally congruent mental health services. The evaluation focuses on older Latino adults. Based on prior research, it was hypothesized that older Latino adults who perceive high cultural congruence will be more likely to (1) use mental health services, (2) give others advice to seek mental health services, (3) report lower mental health stigma, (4) report positive subjective norms. In addition, people who report (5) positive subjective norms and (6) low stigma will be more likely to use mental health services. The modified Cultural Congruence Index (Costantino, Malgady, & Primavera, 2009) was used to measure participants’ perceptions of the cultural congruence of mental health services; they are asked to provide aspects they find important (providing bilingual specialists, similar ethnic background, etc.) and if they perceive mental health services according to these characteristics. The modified Vega’s stigma scale (Vega, Rodriguez,& Ang, 2009) will be used to measure self-reported stigma. Questions measuring help seeking intentions and intentions to give advice to seek help are based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen & Madden, 1986; TPB). Vignettes will measure intent to seek help and intent to provide advice to seek help. To test the first two hypotheses, a Pearson correlation is used to analyze scores from Cultural Congruency Index and TPB (Ajzen & Madden, 1986) questions. A second analysis will be done with the open ended answers that will be coded dichotomously and analyzed with the Cultural Congruence score using a point- biserial correlation. To test the fourth hypothesis, the Vega scale and the Cultural Congruence Index with be analyzed using a Pearson correlation. Lastly, scores from subjective norms and the stigma scale will correlated with intentions using a Person correlation. The long term goal of this study is to see high cultural congruency in mental health services could potentially improve the long debated problem with underutilization.