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Am J Community Psychol. 1984 Oct;12(5):551-66.

Professional help use among black Americans: implications for unmet need.


Previous findings on black utilization have been largely obtained from racial comparison studies. Little attention has been paid to sociodemographic differences or the social psychological processes that affect help-seeking behavior within the black group. The present study analyzed data obtained from a national probability sample of the black population. A multidimensional contingency table analysis revealed that problems experienced by the lower income group were more serious than those experienced by the upper income group. Low-income respondents were also more likely to state that their personal distress was caused by a physical health problem. Income, however, was not related to the decision to seek professional help. The implications of these findings for understanding black illness behavior and the underutilization of services was discussed.

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