, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 98-106
Date: 08 Jun 2011

Stressors and Barriers to Using Mental Health Services Among Diverse Groups of First-Generation Immigrants to the United States

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Abstract

This study examined stressors and barriers to using mental health services among first-generation immigrants in San Jose, California. Focus groups for 30 immigrants from Cambodia, Eastern Europe, Iran, Iraq, Africa, and Vietnam were audio-recorded, translated and transcribed. Two researchers coded the data and identified themes pertaining to mental health stressors and barriers. Six primary stressors were identified: economic, discrimination, acculturation due to language differences, enculturation, parenting differences, and finding suitable employment. Primary barriers included: stigma, lack of a perceived norm in country of origin for using mental health services, competing cultural practices, lack of information, language barriers, and cost. A conceptual model is presented that may be used to inform the design and implementation of mental health services for this population.