African american families' expectations and intentions for mental health services

Richard Thompson*, Barbara L. Dancy, Tisha R A Wiley, Cynthia J. Najdowski, Sylvia P. Perry, Jason Wallis, Yara Mekawi, Kathleen A. Knafl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A cross-sectional qualitative descriptive design was used to examine the links among expectations about, experiences with, and intentions toward mental health services. Individual face-to-face interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 32 African American youth/mothers dyads. Content analysis revealed that positive expectations were linked to positive experiences and intentions, that negative expectations were not consistently linked to negative experiences or intentions, nor were ambivalent expectations linked to ambivalent experiences or intentions. Youth were concerned about privacy breeches and mothers about the harmfulness of psychotropic medication. Addressing these concerns may promote African Americans' engagement in mental health services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-383
Number of pages13
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • African American
  • Expectations
  • Intentions
  • Mental health services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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