Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Anxiety, Stress, and Suicide

Little research has examined counseling for minorities on university campuses. A sample of 1166 African Americans, Asia’s, Latinos, and Caucasians from 40 universities filled out a survey. This research examines the differences between African Americans, Caucasians, Asians, and Latin students in therapy attending after intake and severity distress at both intake and the last session. The results will be more helpful for therapist to become more culturally sensitive to ones needs. They also wanted to know if the current counseling services were adequate for the students. The participants had to fill out a questionnaire which asked demographics information. Once there criteria was met, they took a simple random sample of the remaining Caucasians to provide more equal cell sizes across ethnicities. (Kearney, Draper, Baron, 2005)

The average number of sessions after the intake was 2.25. The mean age of the students was 22.3 years old. The ethnic proportion was 11.6% were African American, 16% Asian, 29.5%Latino, 25.8% Caucasian, and 17.1% were international students. The study was mostly made up of female students 66.2%. (Kearney, Draper, Baron, 2005)

The counseling center employed psychologist and psychiatrists licensed professional’s counselors to help work with the research. These professionals had a mean year of experience of 11.62 years. They were mainly female as well, 63.9%. There ethic group of counselors were 79.49% Caucasian, 6.9% African American, 4.9% Asian, 4.4% Latino, and 3.99% international. (Kearney, Draper, Baron, 2005)

For this study participants filled out a survey asking questions of demographic characteristics, and present concerns that they may have. Demographics like age, sex, race, academics, major, and GPA. (Kearney, Draper, Baron, 2005)

   The survey asked about specific presented problems to provide the therapist with some information to begin exploring the client’s issues. For this study the survey used a likerts scale. The symptoms distress scale consisted of 22 items. The scale focused on emotional stressors of life such as depression, anxiety, stress, substance abuse, and suicide. A subscale consisted of nine items measuring the student’s level of dissatisfaction with stressors of school, work, family life, and leisure time.

The researcher opted to choose the OQ45 forms which is to determine clinical and nonclinical cutoffs scores based on a formula developed by (Jacobson and Truax, 1991)

 The participants were given the OQ45 to complete weekly for each session they met with their psychotherapy. Of the participants the return rate was 90% consisting with the instructions given. The researchers relied on previous research to determine whether or not the clients were clinical or nonclinical at intake, whether recovered, improved, or no change occurred for each group. (Kearney, Draper, Baron, 2005)

The reliability change or no change was determined from several different criteria. One criteria was participants who started in the clinical category but ended in a nonclinical category, these were classified as recovered. Second if clinical participants showed an improvement in their scores, they were classified as improved. The third category was that of the clinical or nonclinical sample that they did not improve they were classified as no change. (Kearney, Draper, Baron, 2005)

The research results found that Caucasians attended more of the sessions then all of the other groups. A post test showed that there was significant difference between African Americans and Caucasians, Caucasians and Asians, and, Caucasians and Latinos. They found no mean number of sessions between the ethnic groups. Asians reported greater initial distress then Caucasians and African Americans. Asians also responded a great number of symptomatology as well. The symptoms distress subscale scores differ among Caucasians and Asians. Overall the African American students reported the least number of distressed of the three represented ethnic minority groups at intake and termination.  (Kearney, Draper, Baron, 2005)

 I found this article to be very interesting, the reason for this is because of the different variations of races and ages. I could relate to the study because it deals with college age students. Our day to day life is quite the same hanging out with friends, attending class, and going to work. We all talk about not always getting along with our parents, our boss, and other problems that we may have. The stress can really build up sometimes and we all deal with the stress in a different way. I was most surprised that the Asians had more stress and complications in their lives.   

Kearney, L.K., Draper, M., Baron, A. (2005). Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority

Psychology. The American Psychological Association. Volume 11(3), August

2005, p 272–285.

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