Psychotherapy Expectations and Preferences Among Black and White Undergraduate Women

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Mental health treatment utilization is low among Black undergraduate women, despite the prevalence of mental health stressors and difficulties. The consideration of pre-treatment preferences and expectations may help address this disparity. The current study is an attempted replication and extension of prior findings demonstrating race-based differences in preferences and expectations. The sample consisted of 369 undergraduate women (Black:35.2%, White:64.8%; Mage = 21.59 [SD = 6.21]). Responses to several self-report questionnaires were compared across racial groups demonstrating several small-sized differences. For example, Black women had stronger expectations and preferences for most or all therapy sessions to involve venting, getting advice, and learning about mental health and new skills. Additionally, Black participants had stronger preferences for emotional intensity in treatment. Individuals are more likely to engage with treatment when their views are considered and these findings can encourage conversations about these perspectives and tailored treatment approaches with Black undergraduate women.

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Journal of College Student Mental Health

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