The Role of Therapy Fears, Ethnic Identity, and Spirituality on Access to Mental Health Treatment Among Latino College Students

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Abstract

This study examined the impact of therapy fears, ethnicity identity, and spirituality on the use of mental health service among Latino college students. Participants were 83 Latino college students (78% female) recruited from a university in Central Texas. Analyses of the results indicated that previous mental health services use was negatively correlated with spirituality. Previous use of mental health services was positively correlated with participants’ views that their ethnic community and religious affiliation did not influence their decisions to seek services. Additionally, ethnic identity was positively correlated with spirituality. Furthermore, participants’ views that their ethnic community did not influence their decisions to seek services were correlated with religious affiliation. Therapy fears were positively correlated with participants’ views that their ethnic community and religious affiliation did not influence their decisions to seek services. MANOVA analyses indicated that only spirituality (not therapy fears or ethnic identity) significantly impacted Latino college students’ decisions to seek counseling services. Finally, regression analyses indicated that spiritual meaning and religious affiliation predicts service use. Implications for research and practice in college counseling centers are discussed.

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