Asian international students' ethnic identity, spirituality, acculturation, and experience of racism: relationship with attitude toward seeking professional therapeutic help
The number of international students continues to grow in the United States, especially students from the Asian continent. However, research continues to show that Asian international students tend to under-use therapeutic services, even though they experience many of the common problems that all students face entering college. Before mental health practitioners and therapists can effectively work with these students, they need to understand international students in terms of their attitudes toward seeking professional therapeutic help and various proximal variables that may influence their attitudes.;The present study examined the relationship between ethnic identity, spirituality, acculturation, and racism with attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help. In addition, demographic variables such as age, gender, length of stay, and origins were also examined.;A total of 208 Asian international students from a large Midwestern university participated in this study. Participants completed a demographic information sheet and five measurement instruments: (a) Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM), (b) Spiritual Transcendence Scale (STS); (c) Suinn-Lew Asian Self-Identity Acculturation Scale-International (SL-ASIA-I); (d) Asian American Racism Related Stress Inventory; (e) the Attitude Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale (ATSPPHS). The demographic information sheet included information about age, gender, student classification, ethnicity, religion, country of origin, and length of stay in the United States. Four hypotheses were tested: (1) There was significant relationship between spirituality and attitudes towards seeking professional therapeutic help; (2) There was significant relationship between ethnic identity and attitudes towards seeking professional therapeutic help; (3) There was significant relationship between acculturation and attitudes towards seeking professional therapeutic help; and (4) There was significant relationship between experience of racism and attitudes toward seeking professional therapeutic help. In order to predict attitude toward seeking professional therapeutic help, multiple regression analysis was conducted.;As hypothesized, significant relationship were found between three independent variables, namely ethnic identity, racism related stress, and origin with attitude towards seeking therapeutic help, and between racism related stress and attitude towards seeking therapeutic help. The results of this study were discussed in terms of the limitations and implications, and recommendations for future research were also presented.