Date of Award

Fall 2010

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Heather Turner


Using 2005-2007 pooled data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), this thesis examines how race affects the type of mental health treatment ught by adults. This research examines whether a more inclusive definition of mental health treatment that incorporates unconventional mental health treatment may partially account for this disparity in treatment seeking behavior. Specifically, by including and differentiating between "formal" and "informal" complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as types of unconventional mental health treatment, it was hypothesized that the greater use of "informal" CAM (i.e. seeking help from a religious or spiritual advisor or friend or family member) by blacks will reduce this racial disparity. Findings suggest that although blacks are more likely to use informal CAM, accounting for the use of unconventional mental health treatment does not decrease the racial disparity in treatment seeking behavior.