Date of Paper

5-2012

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

msw

Department

socialwork

First Advisor

Jeong-Kyun Choi

Abstract

The focus of this study was to determine how finances affect Latino immigrant mental health access. The relationship between variables was examined by emailing a three category survey, to a convenience sample of mental health practitioners who work with Latino immigrants ages 18 and older. Survey contents were as follows: demographics, financial strain and mental health access. The study was a cross-sectional, quantitative design. Survey responses were used to determine the relationship between the dependant variable finance and independent variable mental health. The research question for the study was: "What is the relationship between mental health and finances as it relates to Hispanic/Latino Immigrants between the ages of 18 and older?" A correlation test indicates that financial strain of Latino immigrants is negatively associated with their ability to access mental health services. Survey responses also indicate that mental health practitioners in the study, believe their clients experience financial strain which can affect their ability to access services, that it is more difficult for them to access mental health services than for the general population, that their clients experience more daily adversity which they believed can affect mental health wellness, and that client emotional distress would decrease if more basic needs were met. However, due to a small sample size, research is inconclusive. Limited amount of mental health professionals who work with the population of interest in the metro area made it difficult to obtain an adequate sample. In order to address financial strain and mental health services barrier of Latino immigrants, change must occur at the legislative level. The growing need for service and increased barriers to access of resources deems the population vulnerable in numerous areas.

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