Purpose. This dissertation aimed to examine factors involved in the help-seeking process of Latino/a parents with regard to their child's mental health treatment. Path analyses were used to test the generalizability of Cramer's (1999) help-seeking model to this population. Variables of interest were social support, self-concealment, attitude towards counseling, child symptom severity, and willingness to seek counseling. An empirically-derived hypothesized model was also tested in order to examine whether it would better explain the help-seeking behavior of Latino/a parents, given the addition of the constructs of adherence to Latino values and religious coping.
Method. Convenience sampling procedures (n = 65) and a web-based survey methodology (n = 56) were used to obtain a sample of 121 Latino/a parents from 26 to 60 years of age. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire, which consisted of a demographic information section, Latino Values Scale (Kim, Soliz, Gonzalez, Orellana, & Alamilla, 2006), Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help-Short Form (Fischer & Farina, 1995), Pediatric Symptom Checklist (Jellinek, Murphy, Robinson, Feins, Lamb, & Fenton, 1988), Social Support Questionnaire Short Form (Sarason, Sarason, Shearin, & Pierce, 1987), Self-Concealment Scale (Larson & Chastain, 1990), and Religious Coping Activities Scale (Pargament, Ensing, Falgout, Olsen, Reilly, Van Heitsma, et al., 1990).
Results. Results from path analyses indicated that ail three models were found to adequately describe the help-seeking process of Latino/a parents. Path coefficient values indicated significant relationships between the following variables: adherence to Latino value and self-concealment; self-concealment and child symptom severity; child symptom severity and willingness to seek counseling; and attitude toward counseling and willingness to seek counseling.
Discussion. The present study identified factors which are involved in the help-seeking process of Latino/a parents and provided knowledge that can be used in future research endeavors and clinical practice involving Latinos/as. Results demonstrated that although the Cramer-based (1999) model sufficiently described the help-seeking patterns of Latino/a parents, adherence to Latino values made significant contribution. Self-concealment and child symptom severity demonstrated the greatest impact on parents' decision of whether to seek mental health services for their child. Implications for these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.