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Research regarding cultural differences in illness perceptions suggests that they may explain variations in help-seeking behavior. This study examined acculturative processes and help-seeking behavior in a sample of 153 migrants and 113 non-migrants in UK. Significantly more migrants believed in spiritual causes, but fewer perceived their behavior caused their distress, fewer described behavioral consequences and found informal help-seeking sources helpful. A correlation analyses examined the association between perceptions of distress with length of stay in the UK in migrants. Significant associations were established between length of stay and perceptions about spiritual and behavioral causes as well as informal and formal help-seeking. Illness perceptions were significant determinants in a regression model of overall help-seeking in migrants: somatic symptoms, psychosocial causes and behavioral consequences. Implications for health psychological theory and application are discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Zeitschrift fur Gesundheitspsychologie

Publication Date





31 - 39