ERIC Number: ED243018
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
The Underrepresentation of Minorities in Mental Health Services: Implications for Research, Practice, and Program Development.
Ponterotto, Joseph G.
In the 1960s, mental health and educational research on minority populations suffered from ill defined studies which lacked empirical quality and validity. As a result, numerous misinterpretations, false assumptions, and misleading stereotypes have been perpetuated in the literature. Generalization of results from small, non-random samples, and the use of instruments normed on Anglo populations exacerbated the research problem. These research biases have been perpetuated in mental health services to minority groups. Minorities fail to utilize these services due to the lack of minority therapists, the adherence to a traditional clinical and therapeutic orientation, the focus on individual rather than environmental change, and the ignorance of cultural differences. Although need for more minorities in the helping professions exists, graduate school requirements and admission tests tend to limit minority participation in training opportunities. An academic selection methodology which includes academic index, experiential background, and personal interview as major criteria, though successful, comes too late in the academic process. True academic motivation and success starts with teacher expectations in the early years. A multiphase model of involvement and training, which emphasizes the interactions and feedback loops among varying levels in the educational process from elementary to graduate school, would truly increase minority participation in professional roles. (A diagram of the proposed training model is appended). (BL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A