Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 1165–1177

Ethnic Differences in Perceived Impairment and Need for Care

  • Ligia M. Chavez
  • Patrick E. Shrout
  • Margarita Alegría
  • Sheri Lapatin
  • Glorisa Canino
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10802-010-9428-8

Cite this article as:
Chavez, L.M., Shrout, P.E., Alegría, M. et al. J Abnorm Child Psychol (2010) 38: 1165. doi:10.1007/s10802-010-9428-8

Abstract

Latino children in the U.S. have high rates of unmet need for mental health services, perhaps due to biased perceptions of impairment and need for care by parents and providers. We tested this argument using an experimental vignette design. Vignettes described children with problems that varied on severity (mild vs. serious), nature of the problem (internalizing vs. externalizing), as well as gender and ethnicity (Latino vs. Anglo). Raters were Latino and Anglo parents (N = 185) and providers (N = 189). Vignettes with Latino names were viewed as more impaired by both parents and providers, and this effect was significantly stronger in Latino vignettes with less severe problems. Severity and Latino features of vignettes also interacted with judgments of need for service. At higher severity, vignettes with Anglo names were judged to need service more than vignettes with Latino names, despite the same judged levels of impairment. Results are discussed in the light of the unmet need for Latinos.

Keywords

Vignette methodology Ethnicity research Mental health services Impairment 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ligia M. Chavez
    • 1
  • Patrick E. Shrout
    • 2
  • Margarita Alegría
    • 3
  • Sheri Lapatin
    • 3
  • Glorisa Canino
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Puerto RicoSan JuanPuerto Rico
  2. 2.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Cambridge Health AllianceSomervilleUSA

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