Title page for ETD etd-04122017-134527

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Salinas, Carlos Enrique
Author's Email Address carlos18@vt.edu
URN etd-04122017-134527
Title The Influence of Cultural and Caregiver Factors on Child Inclination toward Disclosure
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Susan W. White Committee Chair
Julie C. Dunsmore Committee Member
Thomas H. Ollendick Committee Member
  • mental health
  • child disclosure
  • culture
  • parenting
  • caregiver
Date of Defense 2017-04-03
Availability unrestricted
Although a considerable body of research has looked at factors underlying mental health help-seeking behaviors, many facets of this pathway have received only marginal attention, particularly for internalizing concerns in children. Moreover, caregivers and culture can exert a pronounced influence on family dynamics, conferring values and beliefs that can facilitate or inhibit help-seeking. In a two-group study of international (n = 20) and domestic (n = 20) families, we sought to determine whether parental and cultural factors could differentially predict children’s tendency to disclose, withhold, or mask internalizing (i.e., anxiety and depression) symptoms. Caregivers completed a battery of measures while children completed self-report questionnaires and an interactive activity to assess disclosure propensity. Results indicate that parenting and attitudinal factors are not necessarily implicated in predicting children’s decisions for both anxiety and depression, and irrespective of cultural background. However, among international families, children’s inclination toward disclosure of anxiety-related concerns reflected significant cultural influences (Wilks’ λ = .386, Chi-square = 15.230, df = 6, Canonical correlation = .729, p = .019). Caregiver acculturation in particular was found to account for 84.2% of the variance, with children of less acculturated parents being more likely to mask as opposed to disclose or withhold.
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