Date of Award

12-2005

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. James Croteau

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was twofold: (1) to translate two help-seeking scales (Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale (ATSPHHS) and Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Short Scale (ATSPPHS-S) into Spanish (S-ATSPPHS, S-ATSPPHS-S); and, (2) to examine indices of reliability and relationships to external correlates of the Spanish translations (acculturation, education, geographic background, socioeconomic status (SES), previous help-seeking, and, gender) to see whether the translated instruments measured the same help-seeking construct asthe English versions of the instruments.

In general, hypotheses on education, SES, and gender were not supported; hypotheses on acculturation and geographic background, while statistically significant, contradicted findings from prior studies; and, the hypothesis on previous help-seeking could not be analyzed because of insufficient data. Initially, these apparent contradictions were perplexing given that reliability coefficients for both the S-ATSPPHS (.86) and the S-ATSPPHS-S (.80) were high. A close examination of the sample described above, however, aids in illuminating the seemingly contradictory findings, for in this study the participant sample was unique across a number of the external correlates examined. For instance, all of the participants in this study were low in acculturation; 66.2% of theparticipants fell into lower socioeconomic status levels (less than 26,999 annually); 45.2% of the sample was from rural geographic backgrounds; and 73.1% of the study had a high school or less education. The uniqueness of the sample allows some illumination of a rarely studied sub-sample of an already marginalized population. Understanding the nature of the sample should help future researchers in developing studies that examine the construct of help-seeking for this specific sub-sample of the Latino/a population. For instance, researchers need to look critically at the samples utilized in past research and avoid over generalizing these studies findings to all Latino/a groups. Given the uniqueness of the sample, it is difficult to determine what the relationship should be between the external correlates and the two translated help-seeking instruments. We cannot, therefore, state with any certainty conclusions aboutthe construct validity of the S-ATSPPHS and the S-ATSPPHS-S.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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