Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



There is evidence of a disparity between mental health prevalence rates in children and service utilization. Thus, many children are not receiving support for their mental health needs despite prevalent symptoms and high levels of psychopathology. This disparity is even greater for children from culturally diverse families who face unique stressors in comparison to their White peers. Given the known positive and preventative effects of early intervention, this places culturally diverse children at disproportionate risk for adverse mental health outcomes. Parents are gatekeepers responsible for responding to their child’s mental health needs. Thus, it is necessary to study the unique mental health-seeking process that culturally diverse parents face and understand how this process may differ from White Caucasian parents. The current study analyzes the initial step of the mental health help-seeking pathway, problem recognition, from the parent perspective. Specifically, it assesses two main components of problem recognition—parent perception and parent impact—and their associations with help-seeking intent. Furthermore, the study will examine the role of cultural variables (e.g., race/ethnicity, cultural mistrust, religiosity) in problem recognition in parents. As one of the first studies focusing on cultural diversity and parent problem recognition in the mental health help-seeking process, this study contributes to research by evaluating the gap in service utilization and, in turn, aids solution development for mental health disparities in culturally diverse children.



Committee Chair

Anna Long

Available for download on Saturday, October 26, 2024