In the present study, the authors examined the contributions of cultural beliefs about the etiology of mental illness to the seeking of help from mental health professionals among college students in 4 cultural groups, European Americans, Chinese Americans, Hong Kong Chinese, and Mainland Chinese. Group differences were found in help-seeking history and likelihood, with European and Chinese Americans being more likely to seek help than Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese. Multiple-group path analysis showed that lay beliefs about causes of mental illness and prior help-seeking history significantly predicted help-seeking likelihood, which was related positively to environmental/hereditary causes but negatively to social-personal causes. Our findings demonstrate the importance of understanding help-seeking patterns within specific cultural contexts and the effects of Western influences on shaping help-seeking propensities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
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