Factors Associated With Mental Health Service Use AmongBlack, Latinx, and Asian Older Adults in Community-Based Organizations

Liao Zhang, Isabel O’Malley, Mario Cruz-Gonzalez, Mayra L. Sánchez González, Margarita Alegría

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Older adults of color face systemic obstacles in seeking mental health care. Unaddressed late-life mental health issues can challenge independent living and increase disability and mortality risk. This study examined factors associated with mental health service use among community-dwelling older adults. Method: This cross-sectional analysis used data from the Positive Minds-Strong Bodies trial (N= 1,013). Results: Higher anxiety, depressive, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms increased odds of service use (odds ratio [OR] = 1.05–2.11). Asian and Latinx, but not Black, older adults had lower odds of service use than Whites (OR = 0.15–0.35). Yet Asian and Latinx older adults with higher anxiety and depression symptoms and Asians with at least one PTSD symptom had higher odds of service use than Whites with the same symptomatology (OR = 1.16–2.88). Conclusion: White older adults might be more likely to seek mental health care at lower levels of need, while Asian and Latinx older adults might seek services when they perceive greater need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • mental health
  • older adults
  • racial/ethnic
  • service use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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