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CULTURAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND DEMOGRAPHIC CORRELATES OF WILLINGNESS TO USE PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES AMONG EAST ASIAN IMMIGRANTS

BARRY, DECLAN T. Ph.D.; GRILO, CARLOS M. Ph.D.1

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: January 2002 - Volume 190 - Issue 1 - p 32-39
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To assess East Asian immigrants’ willingness to use psychological services if depressed and willingness to recommend psychological services to distressed friends, and to examine their cultural (acculturation status, self-construal, ethnic identity), psychological, and demographic correlates, 170 East Asian immigrants (88 male, 82 female) were administered a battery of psychometrically established measures. Approximately 50% of participants expressed strong unwillingness to seek psychological treatments, and approximately 30% expressed strong unwillingness to recommend such treatments to distressed friends. Personal willingness to use psychological services was positively associated with assimilation, being female, age, and English fluency, but was negatively associated with interpersonal distance and number of years in the United States. In contrast, willingness to recommend psychological services to friends was positively associated with independent self-construal, overall ethnic identity, interpersonal sensitivity, being female, and number of years in the United States but was negatively associated with interpersonal distance and reported obsessive-compulsive symptoms. A minority of East Asian immigrants report being willing to seek or to recommend psychological services. Psychological distress, and cultural and demographic features were differentially associated with willingness to seek versus willingness to recommend psychological services.

1 Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, P.O. Box 208098, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8098. Send reprint requests to Dr. Barry.

Preparation of this report was supported in part by funding from the Donaghue Medical Research Foundation.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.