Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 1122–1130 | Cite as

Mental Health Literacy, Stigma, and Behavioral Health Service Use: the Case of Latinx and Non-Latinx Whites

  • Lorraine T. BenutoEmail author
  • Frances Gonzalez
  • Francisco Reinosa-Segovia
  • Melanie Duckworth



Two research questions guided this study. What is the difference, if any, between Latinx and non-Latinx Whites (NLWs) in mental health literacy about depression, depression-related stigma, and lifetime history of behavioral health service use? and Does mental health literacy and depression-related stigma mediate the relationship between ethnicity and lifetime history of behavioral health service use?


Data for this cross-sectional study was collected from a primary care clinic. Participants (N = 271) completed measures on mental health literacy and stigma.


Results from a multivariate analysis of covariance revealed that Latinxs had lower levels of mental health literacy, higher levels of stigma, and lower lifetime prevalence rates of behavioral health service use. Results from a path analysis indicated that personal stigma partially mediated the relationship between ethnicity and lifetime history of behavioral health service use.


Interventions targeting stigma may reduce disparities in behavioral health service utilization.


Stigma Mental health literacy Latinxs Latinos Behavioral health service use 



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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NevadaRenoUSA

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