Category: Cultural Diversity / Vulnerable Populations

PS14- #C90 - Assessment of Mental Health and CBT Literacy in a Diverse Undergraduate Sample

Saturday, Nov 18
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Cultural Diversity/ Vulnerable Populations | Depression | Adult Anxiety

Diverse populations’ knowledge of mental health and CBT literacy is an important factor to consider when designing and/or implementing interventions across diverse populations or settings. However, little research has empirically assessed mental health literacy in diverse (e.g., ethno-racial minorities, LGBTQ) populations. The present study assessed functional literacy of mental health and CBT in a large (N = 694) undergraduate sample. Participants were 694 students (583 females) aged 18 to 50 years (M = 20.90; SD = 4.67) who largely identified as White (62.5%) and heterosexual (88%). Participants were assessed for accuracy of broad mental health-related knowledge and CBT-specific knowledge using the Literacy of Suicide Scale, Anxiety Literacy Questionnaire, Depression Literacy Questionnaire, and Mental Health Literacy Scale. A series of independent samples t-tests showed that individuals who identified as gay or bisexual demonstrated greater scores on measures of depression literacy; t(658)=-3.58, p < .01, overall mental health literacy; t(641)=-2.91, p < .01, and suicide literacy; t(615)=-3.08, than heterosexual individuals. Nonwhite individuals collectively showed greater anxiety literacy than White individuals; t(680)=-7.55, p < .01. Individuals who self-reported previously experiencing mental illness reported greater overall mental health literacy; t(590)=6.10, p < .001, as well as greater depression literacy; t(605)=7.45, p < .01, and suicide literacy; t(563)=5.01, p < .01. These individuals were also more likely to accurately state the mechanisms of intervention underpinning CBT; t(589)=3.12, p=.01. A series of Pearson product-moment correlations also indicated significant positive correlations between being female and depression literacy (r=.18, p < .01) and anxiety literacy (r=.12, p < .01). Positive correlations were also found between identifying as gay or bisexual and depression literacy (r=.14, p < .01), anxiety literacy (r=.10, p=.01), and overall mental health literacy (r=.11, p < .01). Interestingly, negative correlations were found between being African-American and depression literacy (r=-.30, p < .01), mental health literacy (r=-.27, p < .01), and suicide literacy (r=-.19, p < .01). Likewise, previous experience of mental illness was negatively correlated with depression literacy (r=-.12; p < .01), mental health literacy (r=-.10; p=.02), and suicide literacy (r=-.11, p < .01), though it was positively correlated with anxiety literacy (r=.14, p < .01). These findings indicate that certain minority populations, particularly LGBTQ populations, may demonstrate a higher degree of mental health literacy than non-minority populations. Implications and recommendations based upon these findings are discussed.

David M. Schultz

The University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Laura K. Hansen

University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Randolph Arnau

The University of Southern Mississippi