Mental health has received more attention and stigma associated with it has decreased over time in the United States. However, subpopulations have differing views on mental illness since cultural factors can shape perceptions of and influence access to mental health information. Previous studies have investigated such cultural factors among Sunni Muslims (the majority sect of Islam) and less so among Shia Muslims (the minority sect). To address this gap, two research questions were investigated in this project: (1) What are the mental health attitudes among Shia Muslim adults in the United States, and (2) How much mental health knowledge or literacy do Shia Muslim adults in the United States have? A survey was created to assess Shia Muslim mental health attitudes (including stigma) and knowledge. Using snowball sampling, 256 responses were collected. Analysis showed Shia Muslims believe biological, sinful, spiritual, and external factors contribute to mental illness and have low social stigma towards the mentally ill. They also have high mental health knowledge/literacy. Barriers to care reported include cost, time, mistrust of the mental healthcare system, social/self-stigma, and lack of culturally competent care.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Psychology, Clinical Track
Hussain, Fatima Z., "Mental Health Attitudes and Knowledge Among Shia Muslims in America" (2022). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1150.