Date of Award
Master of Science in Clinical/Counseling Psychology
First Reader/Committee Chair
Many individuals experiencing first-episode psychosis (FEP) are unable to work or live independently due to the debilitating nature of their illness. Many individuals experiencing FEP fail to seek mental health treatment for their symptoms. The families of these individuals are often the first to notice early signs of psychosis and seek treatment for the individual (Bridges et al., 2012). there continues to be a high percentage of disengagement from mental health services which may, in turn, contribute to poorer outcomes across various areas in one’s life (Kreyenbuhl et al., 2009). There continues to be a high percentage of disengagement from mental health services which may, in turn, contribute to poorer outcomes across various areas in one’s life (Kreyenbuhl et al., 2009). Given the high rates of disengagement from mental health services, understanding the pathways through care (i.e., the pathways or trajectories one may experience as they continue their mental healthcare) of individuals with FEP and their families’ pathways through care may help us better understand why some people disengage from care while others remain engaged in care. The current study aimed to help address aim three of the parent study by exploring factors that affect engagement in mental health services in Latinx individuals experiencing FEP and their families using qualitative methods. The current study also explored critical socioeconomic barriers that may influence engagement in services among Latinos with FEP and their families as well as barriers for continued care that are not characterized as socioeconomic in nature. Grounded theory methods were one approach to meeting this qualitative study’s objectives. Grounded theory methodology was used to examine the influence socioeconomic barriers have on service engagement along the pathway through care for Latinx individuals experiencing FEP. For this study, individual and family cases were used to develop conceptual categories to synthesize, explain, and understand the data and to identify patterns of relationships among the conceptual categories (Charmaz, 1996). Data collection and analyses followed grounded theory methodology as well. Results described facilitators such as aiding the individual to adhere to care and caregiver advocates for the individual’s care, and barriers such as caregiver and individual unable to afford continued care, along the pathways through care. Our findings suggest that the pathways through care for this population are complex and multifaceted. Further research is needed to better understand and conceptualize the experiences and underlying factors at multiple levels that may contribute to racial-ethnic mental health disparities in order to identify points along the pathways through care that may increase the likelihood of consistent engagement in mental healthcare and provide more well-informed care for this population.
Hernandez, Estevan, "Pathways Through Care of Latinx Individuals Experiencing First-Episode Psychosis" (2023). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 1759.