Date of Award

6-2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Mary L. Anderson

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen E. Craig

Third Advisor

Dr. Evelyn Winfield-Thomas

Abstract

Many Kenyans experience long-standing deleterious life events (e.g., inter-ethnic violence, terrorism, major disasters) in their home nation, and may vicariously experience additional stressors as they seek to acculturate and pursue their ambitions in the United States. Despite experiencing events that may have significant mental health implications, it is unclear how or whether Kenyan immigrants seek professional counseling to enhance their overall mental health and wellness.

The purpose of this study was first to examine the relationship between demographic variables (i.e., gender, education, and marital status) and attitudes toward seeking professional psychological counseling for Kenyan immigrants in the United States. Second, this study also sought to examine the relationship between spiritual wellbeing, level of psychological acculturation, and attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help. The sample included 279 (141 paper/pencil and 138 online) adult Kenyan immigrants in the United States. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire that included psychological acculturation questions, the Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale (ATSPPH; Fischer & Turner, 1970), and the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS; Paloutzian & Ellison, 1991).

Contrary to initial expectations, results from a three-way factorial ANOVA indicated neither gender nor education, nor marital status has any statistically significant effect on attitudes toward professional psychological help. General linear multiple regression also showed that spiritual well-being and acculturation were not statistically significant predictors of attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help for Kenyan immigrants in the United States. Within the study, key terms are defined and operationalized for purposes of this research. Implications for counseling practice, theory, and counselor education, in addition to recommendations for future research, are discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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