University of Houston DowntownResearch focus: Clinical child psychology, multicultural psychology
Ethnic minorities experience psychological stress as a result of discrimination, social and economic challenges, and racial injustice. Yet few receive mental health services when appropriate. Over the last 10-years, the research of Dr. Erlanger Turner has examined factors impacting access to mental health treatment. Studies often show that positive attitudes are associated with seeking treatment. However, his early work found that positive attitudes did not predict help-seeking for Latinos or African Americans. Dr. Turner recently published a study (Turner, Camarillo, Daniel, Otero, & Parker, 2017) with undergraduate students in his research lab and found that fears about therapy were an important barrier to treatment for ethnic minorities. Specifically, the more concerns individuals had about being disrespected by the therapist or working with a competent provider it increased the likelihood that they would avoid treatment.
This highlights that variables other than stigma impact the use of treatment. Currently, his research lab is working on a mixed methods study to examine factors that hinder and promote the use of mental health services among Latinos and African Americans. “My hope is that my research will shed light on ways to improve client-therapist relationships and improve providers’ ability to engage in culturally competent practice,” said Dr. Turner. “Given the growing diversity of the U.S. and the lack of diversity among clinicians we must improve engagement and reduce drop-out to improve overall physical and mental health of individuals from diverse backgrounds.” Visit Dr. Turner’s website to learn more about his research.
Turner, E.A., *Camarillo, J., *Daniel, S., *Otero, J., & *Parker, A. (2017) Correlates of Psychotherapy Use Among Ethnically Diverse College Student. Journal of College Student Development, 58, 2, 300-307 (*students)
Reach out to Dr. Turner on Twitter to say THANK YOU for the psychological research that he does! And be sure to use the hashtag #thankascientist.