Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Janeece Warfield (Committee Chair), Steven Kniffley (Committee Member), Joann Mawasha (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Mental health stigma serves as a chronic barrier to help-seeking and in some cases exacerbates mental health conditions (SAMHSA, 2013). Researchers and clinicians have tried many different methods to reduce these negative attitudes. A popular and usually successful method is education on what mental illness is, its causes, prognosis, and the availability and effectiveness of treatment. Large scale educational efforts have not been adequate in addressing these issues. Therefore, studies are being tailored to find stereotypes within specific communities so as to come up with matching educational protocols (Corrigan & Penn, 2015). The current study explored attitudes among African Americans in comparison to Black immigrants concerning mental illness stigma and accessing mental health services and also examined the effect of acculturation on these attitudes. A convenience sample of African American and Black Immigrant adults completed a battery of inventories including the following: A demographic survey, The Community Attitudes toward the Mentally Ill scale (CAMI), and the Immigrant Bicultural or Multicultural Identity Scale (IBMI). All 68 participants completed the CAMI scale and the demographic survey, and the 44 immigrant participants completed the IBMI scale in addition. Findings indicated that African Americans were equally sympathetic and compassionate as Black immigrants but were more apprehensive of mental health care facilities being located in their neighborhoods. Also, Black immigrants who had lived in the U.S longer endorsed more positive attitudes than the recently immigrated.

Page Count


Department or Program

School of Professional Psychology

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Psychology Commons