The Relationships between Mexican American Acculturation, Cultural Values, Gender, and Help-Seeking Intentions

By Ramos-Sanchez, Lucila; Atkinson, Donald R. | Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview

The Relationships between Mexican American Acculturation, Cultural Values, Gender, and Help-Seeking Intentions


Ramos-Sanchez, Lucila, Atkinson, Donald R., Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD


Census predictions indicate that by 2020 Latinos/as will constitute 15% of the U.S. population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). As of the 2000 Census, Latinos/as represented approximately 12.5% of the U.S. population, moving them ahead of African Americans as the largest ethnic minority population in the United States (Grieco & Cassidy, 2001). Furthermore, Latinos/as make up even larger portions of the population in some states. For example, in California, as of 2000, Latinos/as (primarily Mexican Americans) composed 32.2% of the population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). Although Latinos/as encompass various ethnic backgrounds, approximately 64% of the Latinos/as in the United States are of Mexican origin (Falicov, 1998), with the highest concentration in the southwestern United States (Gloria & Segura-Herrera, 2004; Santiago-Rivera, Arredondo, & Gallardo-Cooper, 2002). These figures may actually underestimate the number of Mexican Americans, given that undocumented immigrants often do not show up in U.S. Census Bureau data (Rogler, Malgady, & Rodriguez, 1989).

* Underuse of Counseling Services

Psychologists are aware that such an increase in the Mexican American population, by way of immigration and high birth rate, will produce a greater need for mental health services for this group. In addition to population increase, other factors experienced by Mexican Americans may also influence the need for more services. It is well documented that the Latino/a population experiences psychological stress from immigration (Falicov, 1998), poverty (Comas-Diaz, 1990; Gloria & Segura-Herrera, 2004), and acculturation (Abreu & Sasaki, 2004; Berry & Annis, 1974; Menas, Padilla, & Maldonado, 1987; Padilla, Alvarez, & Lindholm, 1986; Padilla, Wagatsuma, & Lindholm, 1985). The cumulative psychological distress from the various sources can be overwhelming, increasing the risk for mental health problems.

Considering the psychological distress that results from immigration, poverty, and acculturation, it is not surprising that psychiatric epidemiology studies indicate that Latinos/as experience more mental health problems than does any other ethnic population (Rogler et al., 1989; Williams & Harris-Reid, 1999). Moreover, such risk factors experienced by Mexican Americans may produce a greater need for mental health services to alleviate psychological distress and reduce mental illness for Mexican Americans. Nevertheless, despite the apparent need for services, there is evidence to suggest that Mexican Americans underuse mental health services (Abreu & Sasaki, 2004; Atkinson, Jennings, & Liongson, 1990; Castro, Coe, Gutierres, & Saenz, 1996; Keefe & Casas, 1978; Leong, Wagner, & Tata, 1995; Matin, Marin, Padilla, & De La Rocha, 1983; Reeves, 1986; Rogler et al., 1989; Zane, Hatanaka, Park, & Akutsu, 1994). Of those who do use mental health services, many do not return after the initial visit (Cheung & Snowden, 1990).

In their review of mental health practices among ethnic minorities, Leong et al. (1995) identified three explanations for underuse of mental health services. One hypothesis is that Mexican Americans have a lower incidence of mental illness. Epidemiological data cited by Rogler et al. (1989), however, contradict this hypothesis. The second factor identified in the literature as influencing help-seeking behaviors is institutional barriers. Structural incongruities that result in barriers include (a) lack of Spanish-speaking counselors, (b) inadequate financial resources, (c) location of mental health clinics outside of Latino/a communities, (d) culturally irrelevant therapeutic approaches, and (e) lack of ethnically similar counselors. These factors not only impede persistence in counseling but also may inhibit initial help-seeking intentions.

The third explanation identified by Leong et al. (1995), and the focus of the current study, is cultural barrier theory.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Relationships between Mexican American Acculturation, Cultural Values, Gender, and Help-Seeking Intentions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.