Date of Conferral







Dr. Patricia Heisser-Metoyer


Mexican Americans, the largest Hispanic subgroup in the United States, tend to underuse mental health services. Grounded in Andersen's behavioral model of health services use, the purpose of this nonexperimental study was to examine the likelihood of birth country, education, income, and insurance predicting which respondents would report seeking mental health services to treat depression. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview was used to diagnose depression in 203 Mexican Americans whose data was archived from the primary study. This archived data was analyzed within this study. The results of the 2 x 2 chi-square tests of independence indicated a significant association between a person's birth country and the likelihood that a person will seek mental health treatment, with U.S.-born participants more likely to seek mental health treatment than foreign-born participants. There were no significant bivariate associations found between education, income, or insurance and seeking mental health treatment. The full model containing the 4 independent variables was statistically significant per the results of the binary logistic regression analysis. This finding indicates that the model reliably distinguished between respondents who reported seeking and not seeking mental health treatment. The results of the binary logistic regression analysis indicated education was the only independent variable that made a uniquely significant contribution to the model, with participants with 12 years or more of education more likely to seek mental health treatment. The implications for positive social change include the potential to provide communities and health care providers knowledge of the factors that influence whether Mexican Americans with depression access mental health.