Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)



First Advisor

Andrea Bergman

Second Advisor

Meredith Owens

Third Advisor

Tamara Del Vecchio


Emerging adulthood (ages 18-29) is a time where youth face many challenges as they work towards assuming the full-time roles of adulthood. For first- and later-generation youth, the challenges during this time can take unique forms. The current study sought to address limitations in the extant immigrant mental health literature by exploring the barriers that prevent first- and later-generation emerging adults in the U.S. from accessing mental health treatment. This study did so using a concurrent mixed-methods paradigm in the form of an online survey which collected both qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative analysis consisted of examining themes that arose in participants’ description of cultural stigma around seeking mental health treatment or having mental health problems, as well as knowledge that first- and later-generation immigrant-origin emerging adults lack about mental health treatment. Quantitative data consisted of self-report measures of stigma, depressive symptoms, and demographic characteristics. Results of qualitative analysis yielded several overarching domains for both knowledge- and stigma-related concerns.