Date of Conferral







Tracy Marsh


Filipino Americans have some of the highest levels of psychological distress among all Asian Americans. However, underrepresentation in psychological studies and a unique set of cultural values and norms contribute to the lack of literature on the sources of this distress among Filipino Americans. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine how aspects of cultural assimilation and norms of Filipino culture affect willingness of Filipino Americans to seek mental health services. Several factors, enculturation, anxiety, and depression, among Filipino Americans were examined to predict influence on help-seeking behaviors. A sample of 120 Filipino Americans living in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States were asked to complete a survey containing a researcher-designed demographic questionnaire, the enculturation scale for Filipino Americans instrument, the inventory of attitudes toward seeking mental health services, the willingness to seek counseling scale, the Beck depression inventory 2nd edition, and the Beck anxiety inventory. Cramer’s help-seeking model served as the theoretical framework for this study alongside adaptions made to the model by Tuliao, Velasquez, Bello, and Pinson to account for an additional element unique to Asian culture: loss of face. A hierarchical regression model was used to assess the strength of the effects. Regression analysis indicated that enculturation, anxiety, and depression were not predictive of help-seeking attitudes and willingness to seek counseling scores. The implications for positive change from the results of this study include educating Filipino Americans on seeking mental health services and educating psychological practitioners about an understudied community.