Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2023

Thesis Director

Assege HaileMariam

Thesis Committee Member

Ronan S. Bernas

Thesis Committee Member

Hao-Jan Luh


Mental health has critical importance in the development and functioning of an individual emotionally, psychologically, and socially throughout life. Thus, it is important for an individual to identify mental health issues when experiencing it and seek treatment. However, this understanding appears to differ across cultures and ethnic groups. For instance, Asians in the US have low mental health service utilization. Although researchers have sought to identify the reason, many of these studies are dated, and have not fully explored all the different factors that influence this behavior, nor explored if there are generational differences. In the current study, 102 Asians in the US completed an adapted version of the Day’s Mental Illness Stigma Scale (ADMISS), and the Mental Help Seeking Intention Scale (MHSIS). The ADMISS results in seven factor scores, each associated with a specific stigma area, while the MHSIS provides a total overall score. There were significant differences between immigrants, first-generation, and second-generation Asians on three of the seven factor scores of the ADMISS (Interpersonal Anxiety, Family Disruption, and Relationship Disruption). Immigrants tended to have higher scores on the stigma factor scores, indicating higher levels of mental health stigmatization. Additionally, significant relationships were found between participants’ intentions to seek mental health help and factors such as familial disruption and exposure to stigma and discrimination. Implications of this research and future directions are discussed.