The relationship between attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help, religious orientation, and Greek Orthodox religiosity
- Emmanuel Nicholas Lillios
This exploratory study examined attitudes toward professional psychological services and help provider characteristics among 232 self-identified Italian and Greek American college students in 3 Northeast colleges. Regarding general attitudes toward psychological services in the Italian American sample, women had a greater recognition of personal need for help and higher confidence in the ability of mental health professionals to meet these needs than did men. With regard to preferred counselor demographic characteristics, regardless of gender, lower acculturated Italian American students had a stronger preference for seeing an ethnically similar counselor. With the Greek American sample, there was an interaction effect between acculturation level and gender on attitudes toward services. Among the higher acculturated Greek students, women were more open regarding their personal concerns than men; however, within the lower acculturated cohort, no gender differences were found. With regard to counselor characteristic variables, and similar to Italian Americans, regardless of gender, lower acculturated Greek Americans had a stronger preference for seeing an ethnically similar counselor to discuss a personal problem. Limitations and implications for further research are noted.