School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Gary Probst


African American male, college, stigma, students, therapy, utilization




Cultural mistrust and fear of potential racism from people in the medical profession may be contributing to a noted disdain for mental health counseling among African American men. The purpose of this study was designed to gain insight into how attitudes toward religious help-seeking, acceptance of change, cultural mistrust, and mental health stigma impact therapy utilization among African American male college students. The review of literature explored the theoretical frameworks followed by the historical perspective, epigenetics, family structure, masculinity concept and help-seeking behaviors, noting barriers, fear, stigmas, spiritual influence, and economic hardships. Acceptance of change-evolving action is not currently endorsed by male African American college students. This appears to be due to attitudes, cultural competence, mistrust, risks, and misunderstanding of potential benefits to therapy utilization. The information examined in the literature review provided a foundational framework for understanding the impact of barriers on African American male college students regarding utilization of therapy. Although there have been awareness efforts, prompted by the federal government and the counseling community, the problem of underutilization continues. A quantitative correlational study was conducted to explore if religious help seeking, acceptance of change, cultural mistrust and mental health stigma have a connection to decreased therapy utilization. The study significance focuses on minimizing barriers to therapy utilization while increasing understanding concerning the benefits of its use. The significance of the study is designed to influence health care outcomes and disparities. The methods and procedures used in this research are presented in eight sections: (a) overview, (b) design, (c) research questions, (d) hypotheses, (e) participants, (f) instrument, (g) data collection, and (h) summary.

Included in

Counseling Commons