AFRICAN AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGISTS ATTITUDES TOWARDPSYCHOTHERAPY
Over the last fifty years, Americans attitude of psychotherapy has become more accepting. However, in the African American community the attitudes have not been as accepting. Thompson, Bazile, and Akbar(2004)documented that African Americans had
utilized alternative resources such as friends, the church and other community resources,
in attending to commonly treatable mental health disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety).
The purpose of this dissertation is to discover the attitudes of African American psychologists toward psychotherapy. Jordan, Bogat, and Smith (2001) hypothesized that
African American professional psychologists will be the future of conducting research with African Americans, because of their cultural knowledge, communal ties and psychological professionalism. This development could have huge implications in changing the attitudes of the African American communitys position towards psychotherapy, depending on these psychologists own views of psychotherapy for
Eighty-nine African American psychologists served as participants. They were asked to respond to scales that measured attitudes of receiving professional psychological
help, Africentrism, and psychological stigma. The participants were surveyed electronically using Survey Monkey and email.
Data analyses using correlational analyses and ANOVAs determined that African
American psychologists with more positive attitudes towards receiving professional psychological help and who indicate a strong identification with Africentric values are less likely to associate social stigma with psychological treatment. There were no significant differences with regard to the African American psychologists gender, educational level, area of work expertise, and years of professional experience and their scores on three measures, the Attitude Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help
Scale (Fischer and Turner, 1970), Africentrism (Grills and Longshore, 1996), and Social Stigma for Receiving Psychological Help (Komiya, et al., 2000). This study shed light on foundational aspects of African American psychologists attitudes. It appeared that many variables, including education and training from the professional psychological community, may have had a positive effect on African American psychologists attitudes towards help-seeking behavior and psychotherapy when compared to the views of African Americans in the community.