Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The consideration of African American mothers’ mental health help-seeking attitudes and intentionsis important when developing culturally sensitive parent training programs and potentially help bridge a critical knowledge and service gap for this population. The purpose of this study is to examine the parental help-seeking for child externalizing behavior problems in order to delineate variables that might influence BPT enrollment among African American families. To address the lack of research considering cultural factors, this study examines the influence of racial group identification, cultural childrearing values, and mental health stigmatization on African American mothers’ problem recognition and willingness to engage in behavioral parent training. Participants were 112 African American mothers. Results found that when presented with a child displaying clinically significant externalizing child behaviors, slightly more than half of African American mothers recognized clinically significant child behavior problems. Mothers were more likely to engage in behavioral parent training if problematic behavior was recognized. Additionally, mothers’ perception of child behavior, cultural values, and mental health stigmatization were influential to help-seeking. This study supports the importance of considering the cultural variables impactful to problem recognition and treatment utilization among African American families.



Committee Chair

Kelley, Mary Lou