The importance of family factors and generation status: mental health service use among Latino and Asian Americans.Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2013 Jul; 19(3):236-47.CD
The present study utilized data from the National Latino and Asian American Study to examine ethnic and generational differences in family cultural conflict and family cohesion and how the effects of such family conflict and cohesion on lifetime service use vary by generation status for Latino Americans (n = 2,554) and Asian Americans (n = 2,095). Findings revealed that first-generation Asian Americans reported greater family cultural conflict than their Latino counterparts, but third-generation Latino Americans had higher family conflict than their Asian American counterparts. First-generation Latino and Asian Americans had the highest levels of family cohesion. Results from logistic regression analyses indicated that Latino Americans who reported higher family cultural conflict and lower family cohesion were more likely to use mental health services. For Asian Americans, family cultural conflict, but not family cohesion, was associated with service use. Relative to third-generation Asian Americans, second-generation Asian Americans with higher family cultural conflict were more likely to use mental health services. Given that cohesive familial bonds appear to discourage service use on the part of Latino Americans irrespective of generation status, further research is needed to ascertain the extent to which this tendency stems from greater reliance on family support as opposed to the stigma associated with mental health treatment. Mental health providers and treatment programs need to address the role of family cultural conflict in the lives of Asian Americans, particularly second generation, and Latino Americans across generations, because conflictual family ties may motivate help-seeking behaviors and reveal substantial underlying distress.