Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Takako Suzuki, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Petra Kottsieper, PhD

Third Advisor

Lilian Odera, PhD


This study explored the relationship between help-seeking attitudes and behaviors, acculturative stress, social connectedness, and length of stay of African international students in the US. A web-based survey was sent to approximately 300 school officials and individuals from various colleges and universities. Forty-eight African international students met criteria and completed the study. Measures utilized in the survey assessed for social connection, acculturative stress, and attitudes towards seeking help for psychological concerns. Help-seeking behaviors were assessed in the demographic questionnaire. Results indicated that higher levels of social connectedness were associated with positive mental health help-seeking attitudes. Among students who reported experiencing mental and physical health concerns, no relationship was found between social connectedness and help-seeking behaviors. Further analyses found no relationship between acculturative stress and mental health help-seeking attitudes and help-seeking behaviors in students who reported having experienced mental and physical health concerns. Similarly, no relationship was found between length of stay and mental health help-seeking attitudes and behaviors of African students in this study. These findings indicate that although some African students may have positive attitudes towards seeking help for mental and physical health concerns, they do not behaviorally engage in help seeking for those concerns. Various barriers may, therefore, be in play and may prevent help seeking behaviors in this population group. Furthermore, increase in acculturative stress and longer length of stay does indicate more positive attitudes or behaviors towards help seeking for African students in the US. Further studies into barriers relating specifically to this population group are warranted.

Included in

Psychology Commons