All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Patricia Drentea

Advisory Committee Members

Elizabeth Baker

Greg Pavela

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

While several studies have shown that US-born Asian Americans and Latinos are more likely to use mental health services than their foreign-born counterparts, the effects of generation status and familial support is unclear. Furthermore, little is known about these associations and how they affect older adults. According to the Socioemotional Selectivity Theory (SST), as adults begin transition into advanced age, they begin to withdraw from broader social networks to focus on more intimate relations, such as those with children. In applying modernization theory to the family and aging, this theory would suggest that the status of older adults in families in advanced economic societies is lowered and overshadowed by a tendency to focus on the wellbeing of one’s own nuclear family - not their aging parents. Using data from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS), the aim of this thesis is to test these theories as they apply to the associations between first- and second-generation Asian Americans and Latinos, familial support, and the use of mental health services. Key words: Familial support, mental health, service use, Asian Americans, Latinos, older adults, immigrant generation.

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