244790 Acculturation, discrimination and health service seeking for Latina and Asian American Women: Results from the National Latino Asian American Study

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:10 AM

Hoa B. Appel, PhD, MPH , Independent Research, Researcher, Everett, WA
Bu Huang, PhD , Bastyr Research Institute, Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA
Amy Ai, PhD , Department of Social Work, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Current research shows the barriers faced by minorities seeking mental health services in the US. Asian Americans represent a significant minority population that is rapidly growing. While there are general barriers for minorities in seeking service health, minority women are particularly disadvantaged, as demonstrated by their negative experiences and lower satisfaction in receiving health care. Minorities experience low rates of satisfaction with regard to their physicians' care and treatment of them. They encounter lack of cultural sensitivity from providers, barriers to health care services, and little satisfaction with mental health related services. The disparity is more pronounced in foreign-born Asian Americans than their U.S.-born counterparts, indicating the impact of acculturation. Immigrant Asian Americans are more likely to report discrimination than U.S.-born persons, while perceived discrimination, unemployment, and language difficulty has a positive correlation with depression level. Also, a high level of ethnic identity tends to increase the psychologically harmful effects of these resettlement stressors. Our study employed the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) data set, which is the first population-based mental health study on Latino and Asian Americans, because it permits a full description of Latina and Asian American women's experience in mental health service seeking and it identifies the opportunities in increasing their satisfaction levels. The total sample size of the NLAAS is 4649, including 2554 Latinos, and 2095 Asian Americans, among them, 1427 Latina and 1097 Asian American women. Our sample includes 268 Latina and Asian American women who had been seeking mental health service in the past 12 months. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to predict the presence of a major depression diagnosis in the past year, as well as the general evaluation of self-rated mental health, above and beyond the effects of known predictors (e.g. demographics, discrimination and acculturation factors). The results show that perceived discrimination attributed to gender or race/ethnicity predicts lower levels of satisfaction for mental health service-seeking. Older age, higher education levels, longer duration in the US and better mental health positively correlate to higher satisfaction levels for Latina and Asian American women. As expected, mental health self-rating is closely related to satisfaction, with higher levels of mental health rating indicating higher satisfaction. We also found that higher levels of English proficiency do not predict higher levels of satisfaction.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify significant factors, including those relating to discrimination and acculturation that contribute to the lack of service-seeking in Latina and Asian American women. 2. Discuss an overall view of behavioral and mental health related issues for Latina and Asian American women. 3. List four barriers to obtaining mental health care for minority women. 4. Discuss four reasons why disparities in mental health care exist between minority populations and the general population in the US.

Keywords: Health Care Access, Mental Health Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the primary researcher on this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.