Racial Differences in Seeking Out Mental Health Services for Young College Graduates

A new study by Clifford L. Broman, a professor of sociology at Michigan State University, finds that young adult Blacks are significantly less likely than their White peers to utilize mental health services. The racial disparity is especially pronounced for young Blacks with a college education. Broman’s article was published in the February issue of the American Psychological Association’s journal Psychological Services.

Dr. Broman used two sets of data. One collected in 1994 and 1995 and follow-up data collected in 2001. The data showed that Whites who had previously used mental health services were more likely to seek out additional services later in life. The opposite was true for Blacks.

“Past research has indicated people with higher education levels are more likely to seek out and receive mental health services. While that may be true for whites, it appears the opposite is true for young adult blacks,” said Broman. Dr. Broman believes that young Blacks received a lower level of care and thus were less likely to seek out further mental health care when they were older.

Dr. Broman holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He earned a master’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

The article, “Race Differences in the Receipt of Mental Health Services Among Young Adults,” is available here.

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