Study: Asians, Latinos Less Likely To Seek Mental Care for Children
In California, Asian and Latino parents are less likely to seek traditional mental health care treatment for their children than parents in other ethnic groups, according to a study from researchers at Loma Linda University and UCLA, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The study was based on 2005, 2007 and 2009 data from UCLA's California Health Interview Survey.
Jim Banta -- an assistant professor of public health at Loma Linda -- said that researchers examined interviews with about 17,000 parents.
Researchers found that about 24% of Latino children and about 29% of Asian children received mental health care treatment when their parents identified them as having serious emotional problems, compared with:
- About 47% of white children; and
- About 50% of black children.
Banta said that while Asians are reluctant to seek mental health treatment from any source, Latinos are more likely to seek help from a family physician or a priest.
Possible Reasons for Disparity
The study did not address the reasons for the disparity.
However, Banta said thatÂ cultural-related barriers to treatment include:
- Parents' fear of the stigma often attached to mental health treatment;
- Parents' fear of being blamed for their child's mental health problems;
- Limited availability of culturally appropriate programs; and
- A shortage of bilingual mental health care providers.