An Examination of Predictors of Sexual Assault Mental Health Treatment Utilization in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Caucasian Sexual Assault Survivors

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2016-05
Authors
Nelson, Dawna
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
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Abstract
Many survivors of sexual assault experience detrimental effects as a result of the assault. Mental health treatment targeted towards sexual assault is a viable, but often underutilized resource for the treatment of posttraumatic stress symptoms post-assault. Unfortunately, there is a lack of information about what factors contribute to sexual assault mental health treatment utilization in diverse populations. The populations commonly examined in studies on treatment utilization are primarily Caucasian samples. Native Hawaiians and Asian Americans are commonly excluded from or misrepresented in research seeking to identify predictors of mental health treatment utilization. The purpose of the current study was to examine if factors theorized to predict treatment utilization in primarily Caucasian samples are equivalent and/or relevant in Asian American and Native Hawaiian groups. This is the first study to examine sexual assault service utilization using a sample inclusive of Caucasians, Asian Americans, and Native Hawaiians. Utilizing data from a community agency that serves survivors of sexual assault, I conducted a multigroup confirmatory factor analysis approach to explore factors theorized to predic treatment utilization. Overall, factors theorized to predict treatment utilization were not significant among the sample as a whole or by ethnic racial group. However, significant differences in trends related to treatment utilization were identified. Native Hawaiians used significantly fewer services than Asian Americans, emphasizing the importance of proper representation of these two unique ethnic/racial groups in research. Findings from this study have important implications for future research and practice in the field of social work.
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Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
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Native Hawaiian, Caucasian, Asian American, sexual assault, treatment utilization, confirmatory factor analysis
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Social Work
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