Event Title

“Someone had to Plant that Seed First:” African American Emerging Adults’ Experiences with Mental Health Services

Mentor 1

Katie Mosack

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 3:45 PM

Description

Mental illness is prevalent within the 18-25 year old population and studies show that older adolescents and young adults tend to report less positive attitudes toward mental health help-seeking (Seiffge-Krenke, 1993; Hunt & Eisenburg, 2009) and seek mental health treatment at lower rates than older adults (Lin & Parikh, 1999; Swartz et al., 1998). Young people's perspectives on mental health are important because current beliefs are, to some extent, precursors of future beliefs and attitudes (Armstrong, Hill & Secker, 2000), and negative adult attitudes have been shown to impact service development and quality of life of people experiencing mental distress (Forrest, 1992). There is a lack of empirical studies focusing specifically on the mental health needs and service utilization of African American emerging adults. Existing literature reveals contradictory results for how race/ethnicity relate to mental health need. However, race/ethnicity (e.g. being African American) and age (e.g. being an emerging adult) were consistently associated with lower utilization rates of mental health services compared to White young adults, older African Americans, and older Whites (Kessler et al., 2005; Snowden & Yamada, 2005). This study was conducted to contribute to research addressing mental health care utilization by emerging adults. After IRB approval, participants were recruited through snowball sampling from a large public Midwestern university. All three participants identify as African American/Black or as having at least one Black biological parent, are between the ages of 18 and 25, and have previously participated in mental health services. Participants completed a paper survey that examined their attitudes towards help-seeking and an audiotaped open-ended interview where they discussed their attitudes towards and experiences with mental health services. Survey data were analyzed to describe the sample. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, uploaded to NVivo 10, and data will be coded using inductive thematic analysis techniques (Boyatzis, 1998). Preliminary analyses suggest that there are commonalities in the barriers and facilitators experienced by participants and that race/ethnicity will play a varying role of importance in how participants conceptualize their experience. A final coding structure will be presented at the UW-System Symposium. By listening to experiences of African American emerging adults who have experiences with mental health services, we can better understand the barriers and facilitators to mental help-seeking and maintenance of commitment once in services and strive to improve services for this population. Information from this study may be used to develop recommendations for a cultural adaptation of a help-seeking model.

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Apr 24th, 2:30 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

“Someone had to Plant that Seed First:” African American Emerging Adults’ Experiences with Mental Health Services

Union Wisconsin Room

Mental illness is prevalent within the 18-25 year old population and studies show that older adolescents and young adults tend to report less positive attitudes toward mental health help-seeking (Seiffge-Krenke, 1993; Hunt & Eisenburg, 2009) and seek mental health treatment at lower rates than older adults (Lin & Parikh, 1999; Swartz et al., 1998). Young people's perspectives on mental health are important because current beliefs are, to some extent, precursors of future beliefs and attitudes (Armstrong, Hill & Secker, 2000), and negative adult attitudes have been shown to impact service development and quality of life of people experiencing mental distress (Forrest, 1992). There is a lack of empirical studies focusing specifically on the mental health needs and service utilization of African American emerging adults. Existing literature reveals contradictory results for how race/ethnicity relate to mental health need. However, race/ethnicity (e.g. being African American) and age (e.g. being an emerging adult) were consistently associated with lower utilization rates of mental health services compared to White young adults, older African Americans, and older Whites (Kessler et al., 2005; Snowden & Yamada, 2005). This study was conducted to contribute to research addressing mental health care utilization by emerging adults. After IRB approval, participants were recruited through snowball sampling from a large public Midwestern university. All three participants identify as African American/Black or as having at least one Black biological parent, are between the ages of 18 and 25, and have previously participated in mental health services. Participants completed a paper survey that examined their attitudes towards help-seeking and an audiotaped open-ended interview where they discussed their attitudes towards and experiences with mental health services. Survey data were analyzed to describe the sample. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, uploaded to NVivo 10, and data will be coded using inductive thematic analysis techniques (Boyatzis, 1998). Preliminary analyses suggest that there are commonalities in the barriers and facilitators experienced by participants and that race/ethnicity will play a varying role of importance in how participants conceptualize their experience. A final coding structure will be presented at the UW-System Symposium. By listening to experiences of African American emerging adults who have experiences with mental health services, we can better understand the barriers and facilitators to mental help-seeking and maintenance of commitment once in services and strive to improve services for this population. Information from this study may be used to develop recommendations for a cultural adaptation of a help-seeking model.