Date of Award

6-27-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Genevieve Arnaut, Psy.D., Ph.D.

Abstract

There has been a well-documented history of barriers to mental health services among the Mexican immigrant community in the United States. Some of these barriers include low socioeconomic status (SES), lack of insurance, limited English proficiency, fear of discrimination, lack of residency status, and certain cultural dissonance. Culture-specific conceptualizations of mental illness may act as an additional barrier to effective mental health treatment for this community. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate conceptualizations of mental health in the Mexican immigrant community in the United States. Careful consideration was taken to ensure that the research design was developed to respect and consider the participants’ culture and surrounding community. Eight individuals from the Mexican immigrant community were interviewed about their beliefs regarding the causes of mental illness, explanations of mental illness, experiences with treatment providers, and ideas about appropriate treatment. The results were organized into five categories: Causal Factors, Phenomena, Strategies, Mediating Factors, and Consequences. Based on these results, recommendations for treatment providers working with the Mexican immigrant community are provided.

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Library Use: LIH

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