chapter  1
44 Pages

Universal and Particular Attributes of Self-Help: A Framework for International and Intranational Analysis

This chapter derives from the help-seeking literature. This literature was developed with reference to use of professional services, and the chapter explores its relevance to participation in family support and self-help groups. The literature on families' responses to severe mental illness includes measures of parental distress, mental health beliefs and level of satisfaction with social support. A comparison of Cronbach alphas for the organic attribution indicated a difference in the structure of Mexican American and Anglo American parents' beliefs about the organic causes of their son/daughter's problems. Both Mexican American and Anglo American parents preferred contact with mental health professionals to contact with other parents. It may be that recruitment efforts will have more success if mental health professionals are involved. An additional note of caution about cultural differences concerns the fact that the Anglo American patients exhibited more severe symptoms than the Mexican American patients. Such parents may have different beliefs and help-seeking preferences.