Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


African Americans utilize mental health services significantly less frequently than do White-Americans. This study examined the social factors that work to influence the decision to seek services outside of the social circle. Using the National Survey of Black Americans, 4th wave, factors were examined using logistic regression analysis to test the likelihood of accessing the sick role. In addition to the sick role, regression analysis was used to determine the sick role's effect on the decision to seek outside care. Controlling for education, perceived racism, religiosity and employment problems, the findings suggest that life control and socioeconomic status factors influence the decision to seek outside care. In relation to self reported health and influence its effect on access to the sick role, findings suggest that women who were more educated effect and recipients of Medicare were more likely to admit illness.


Mental and Social Health | Psychology | Sociology