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Japanese American conceptions of mental illness and attitudes toward help-seeking

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Item Summary

Title:Japanese American conceptions of mental illness and attitudes toward help-seeking
Authors:Narikiyo, Trudy Ann
Keywords:Japanese Americans -- Hawaii -- Attitudes
Mental illness -- Hawaii -- Public opinion
Mental health services -- Utilization
Date Issued:1991
Abstract:This study examined Japanese American conceptions of mental illness and attitudes toward help-seeking, in order to gain a better understanding of the factors that may contribute to reported underutilization of mental health services by this ethnic group. A questionnaire using a vignette format was administered to 288 college students enrolled at the University of Hawaii and Chaminade University. Responses of Japanese American students were compared with those of a mainstream Caucasian group. Causal attributions of mental illness were assessed, in addition to the perceived helpfulness of various remedial measures. It was hypothesized that Japanese Americans would be less likely than Caucasians to endorse psychological causes and the helpfulness of professional psychological treatment. It was also hypothesized that there would be a significant relationship between the causes of mental illness and the types of help sought for its remediation. Results did not support the first hypothesis. Japanese Americans were as likely as Caucasians to conceptualize the causes of mental illness in psychological terms, and to endorse the helpfulness of formal psychological treatment. However, the results yielded other significant ethnic group differences that were consistent with past research. Japanese Americans were more likely than Caucasians to attribute mental illness to social causes, and to seek help from family members and/or friends. There was also a greater tendency among Japanese Americans to resolve problems on their own. The hypothesized relationships between causes and treatments were generally supported in the Caucasian group, but were less clear for the Japanese American group. Subjects' personal help-seeking preferences were significantly different from those prescribed for the person in the vignettes. Subjects were much more likely to rely on themselves and family and/or friends, and much less likely to consult mental health professionals when asked about themselves versus others. Results suggest that the most probable barriers to service utilization for this sample of Japanese Americans are the use of alternate informal resources, and possible stigmatization of mental illness and professional help-seeking.
Description:Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1991.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 83-96)
ix, 96 leaves, bound ill. 29 cm
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Psychology

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