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Mental Illness and Help-seeking Behavior Among Mariel Cuban and Haitian Refugees in South Florida

Alejandro Portes, David Kyle and William W. Eaton
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 33, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp. 283-298
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137309
Page Count: 16
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Abstract

Differences in psychopathology and use of the mental health system by recent refugee groups are explored in light of competing hypotheses stemming from theories of immigrant adaptation and minority mental health. Results show that would-be Haitian refugees arriving in South Florida during the early 1980s had relatively small needs for mental health care, but whatever needs they had were largely unattended by the health services system. Mariel Cubans had far greater needs that were mostly met satisfactorily by virtue of their familiarity with service facilities prior to departure and their incorporation into a favorable social environment. These contextual factors are added and compared with the individual-level predictor variables suggested by Andersen and others. The results' implications for theories of immigrant mental health and help-seeking and for the implementation of effective delivery programs are discussed.

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