THE ROLE OF SOCIOCULTURAL FACTORS ON PERCEIVED MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE UTILIZATION IN WOMEN OF MEXICAN-AMERICAN FARMWORKER FAMILIES
Adriana Maldonado, Kimberley D'Anna-Hernandez, Sara Bufferd.
California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA.
A large proportion of Mexican immigrants tend to be employed as farmworkers which pose an elevated risk to their physical and mental health. Despite the high incidence of depression and anxiety in this population, there is a huge underutilization of mental health services. Even though previous research has identified barriers to mental health services, limited research has focused their attention of the attitudes toward seeking these services. Thus, the goal of this current study was to explore the relationship between acculturative stress and attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help among Mexican-American farmworkers. Further, it was predicted that this relationship would be moderated by an individual’s levels of state and trait anxiety as well as the level of depressive symptoms. A total of 27 mothers of farmworker families of Mexican descent were recruited to be part of the study. Results revealed that acculturative stress is not associated with mothers’ attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help (p = 0.87). Furthermore, neither the level of depressive symptoms (p = 0.85) nor the level of state anxiety (p = 0.64) moderated the relationship between acculturative stress and attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help. However, trait anxiety was found to moderate the relationship between acculturative stress and attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help (p = 0.05). These findings suggest that both psychological (anxiety) and social aspects (acculturative stress) interact together to determine whether positive or negative attitudes are held toward seeking professional psychological help for a mental disorder among the Mexican-American farmworker population.