Examining Latino differences in mental healthcare use: the roles of acculturation and attitudes towards healthcare

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



*Acculturation; Data Collection; Female; Hispanic Americans; Humans; Male; Mental Health Services; *Patient Acceptance of Health Care; Young Adult


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Latinos are less likely to use mental health services compared to non-Latino whites, but little research has examined the relative contribution of acculturation and attitudes towards healthcare. In the current study, we analyze data from a nationally representative sample of Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and non-Latino whites from the 2002-2003 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (n = 30,234). Findings show different utilization patterns in use of specialty, non-specialty, and any type of mental healthcare across the three Latino subgroups. The predictive efficacy of acculturation variables on ethnic group differences varies by subgroup. Self-reliant attitudes towards healthcare are associated with lower use, but these attitudes do not explain the ethnic gaps in use.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Community Ment Health J. 2009 Oct;45(5):393-403. Epub 2009 Aug 19. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Community mental health journal

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID