Familial Influences on Perceptions of Mental Health and Mental Health Support Seeking in Black Young Adults



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Mental health in the Black community continues to be overlooked by psychological research. Due to factors such as historical trauma, generational trauma, and lack of knowledge, mental health, and mental health stigma are also significantly overlooked by the Black community (Abdullah & Brown, 2010; Krow, 2020). Individual shame and pressure from family members to conceal mental health struggles frequently influence individuals to isolate themselves and avoid seeking necessary support. The purpose of this study was to investigate the ways in which familial attitudes and behaviors during upbringing have shaped young Black adults’ attitudes and perceptions toward mental health and mental health support seeking. Data collected using a qualitative questionnaire and follow-up interviews with 16 participants revealed that mental health stigma (commonly defined as social judgment, degradation, and devaluation) and familial perceptions have a strong influence on how the Black community, and specifically Black young adults, talk about and address mental health (Abdullah & Brown, 2010). In addition, it was found that newer generations (such as Millennials and Gen Z) of Black young adults are more willing to ask for support and/or seek treatment, despite negative experiences with family when it comes to mental health struggles.



mental health, black, perceptions, stigma, mental health support, mental health stigma, Black community, familial influences