Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

Barbara Winstead

Committee Director

Desideria Hacker

Committee Member

Debra Major


The literature suggests that acculturation, enculturation, and the perception of mental health symptoms are some of the factors that explain help-seeking behaviors in Asian Americans. While there has been previous research addressing these concerns for Asian Americans as a unified ethnic group, few studies have examined these factors to explain help-seeking behaviors specifically in Korean Americans. 107 Korean Americans were recruited from Korean American churches in a large metropolitan city in the southeast region. Participants completed an online questionnaire, which included instruments assessing acculturation (AVS-R) and enculturation (EAVS-AA-R) levels as well as their perception of how problematic depressive symptoms were and willingness to seek help. The findings indicated that acculturation was significantly related to greater willingness to seek help from a psychologist for depressive symptoms and enculturation was significantly related to lower willingness to seek a psychologist for help with depressive symptoms. The results also showed that acculturation was significantly related to a greater likelihood of perceiving affective depressive symptoms as problematic. Lastly, the findings revealed that perceiving affective symptoms as problematic mediated the relationship between acculturation and willingness to seek help from a psychologist. These findings both compliment and contradict previous studies of acculturation, enculturation, perception of depressive symptoms, and help-seeking behaviors among Korean Americans.


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