Term of Award

Summer 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jonathan E. Friedel

Committee Member 1

Nick Holtzman

Committee Member 2

Thresa Yancey

Abstract

Discounting conceptualizes how outcomes lose value as they become less likely to occur. This study used probability discounting as a translational paradigm to understand how individuals from minoritized populations make decisions about seeking out mental health services. Research suggested more Americans are seeking mental health services in recent years compared to previous decades. Unfortunately, by examining the demographics of those attending therapy, racially minoritized populations are less likely to seek mental health services than white, non-Latinx populations. Reasons for not seeking mental health services vary, however one issue may be that minoritized individuals feel their clinician will not understand or be tolerant of the background of the individual with a marginalized identity. Clinicians need training to prepare to treat clients of different backgrounds and what has been proposed is cultural competence training. One such method of proposed training is cultural competence. Cultural competence is a therapeutic framework in which individuals learn about the beliefs, values, and identity of cultures different from their own in order to better respect and communicate with others. While cultural competence is taught in many clinical programs, it is not required that clinicians receive this training. This study used discounting questions and hypothetical scenarios related to seeking mental health services in order to determine how much individuals from minoritized backgrounds prefer culturally competent therapy compared to non-culturally competent therapy. Results showed that participants were willing to sacrifice the effectiveness of the treatment they receive in order to receive culturally competent therapy. This shows the inclusion of cultural competence to therapy services is a potential solution for increasing therapy and mental health resources for minoritized populations.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

No

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