Little is known about the psychotherapy utilization, presenting concerns, and outcome differences between Black international and African American university students. The aim of this research is to identify potential similarities and differences between the two groups, as well as potential differences between the aforementioned groups and white students. This study examined archival data collected over the course of a 17-year period that focused on experiences of African-American, Black international, and White students at a large university in the Rocky Mountain West, United States. More specifically, archival data were analyzed to identify differences between the aforementioned groups of students in regard to psychotherapy utilization, presenting concerns, distress levels endorsed at intake, and distress levels endorsed at termination. Results indicate significant differences between African-American, Black international, and White student groups in terms of the maximum number of psychotherapy sessions attended and length of treatment in days. We found significant differences between these groups of students on several items assessed in the Presenting Problem Checklist and the Family Concerns Survey. We found no significant difference between African-American, Black international, and White student groups in the severity of presenting distress as measured by the Outcome Questionaire-45. We found a significant difference between groups in treatment improvement as measured by change scores on the Outcome Questionaire-45, with White students experiencing the greatest change, followed by Black international students and African-Americans. Possible explanations and implications for practice will be discussed in the body of the paper.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





Black students, African-Americans, Black international students, university counseling centers, utilization, outcome