Sociology | Pierson College

Sneha Mittal
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Senior Essay Title: "Considerations of Racial Diversity in University Mental Health Care Settings: A Case Study of Asian American Undergraduate Students at Yale University"

Adviser: Julia DiBenigno

Abstract: Concerns of racial diversity are increasingly relevant to mental health care practice in the United States. Content analysis of Ivy League mental health care websites and online surveys of 84 Asian American undergraduate students at Yale were conducted to examine disconnects between provider and client perspectives in considerations of racial diversity in university mental health care practices. Qualitative data from content analysis and surveys were analyzed to determine trends in institutional values and practices, as well as respondents’ perceptions of and recommendations for Yale Mental Health and Counseling (YMHC). Quantitative data from surveys were analyzed to determine differences between respondents’ preferences for and perceptions of current institutional practices. Content analysis results show varied values and practices among the Ivy League institutions, although most employ group-based initiatives and staff interests/specializations in diversity. Survey results show that on average respondents agreed that current considerations of diversity at YMHC are ineffective, with support for practices of ethnocultural matching and awareness of oppression in medical institutions. These results may provide evidence of structural barriers to some students’ proper help-seeking at Yale, but further research into student experiences at Yale and other institutions is necessary to make broader claims about their mental health care services.