Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Sources of Psychological Support for East Asians Reporting Mental Health Issues Public Deposited

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  • Mental illness is a universal phenomenon, but cultural context has a profound influence on how it is perceived, classified, and treated. Most systematic research on public attitudes toward mental illness has been completed in Western societies. The emergence of multicultural psychotherapy in the West has helped professionals recognize the extent to which their conceptions of normality and deviance are culture- bound, but research in this area has continued to lag. Using data from the East Asian Social Survey (EASS), this study employed a retrospective, cross-sectional observational analysis to examine help-seeking preferences for individuals reported with low mental health and Internet addiction. Preferences for kin versus non-kin support, use of alternative medicine, and professional mental health assistance were examined, as were between-country differences in support preferences. The results support previous research in East Asian countries that found a strong preference for using kin support to address mental health concerns, followed by non-kin support (i.e., close friends and co-participants in religious institutions) and professional mental health services, respectively. Compared to Western culture, a higher percentage of East Asians report they are comfortable relying on alternative medicine for low mental health and Internet addiction. Between-country differences in mental health support preferences are presented and examined in context. Overall, results suggest that, despite enormous social, economic, and technological changes experienced over the past several decades, many East Asians remain deeply influenced by traditional ideas about mental illness.
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