Date of Award

5-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Champe, Julia

Abstract

Research shows that mental health services, generally, are underutilized. The impact of untreated mental health disorders are pervasive and pose social concerns for all communities. Therefore, there is a need to understand why mental health services are not being utilized. Help-seeking attitudes, stigma, ethnicity, gender, and counseling exposure have been identified as significant deterrents to individuals seeking mental health services. However, there are gaps in the literature related to how these factors impact students on college campuses. Therefore, it is the goal of this study to examine the implications of ethnicity, gender, and counseling exposure on help-seeking attitudes. Examining these factors may shed light on why there is a delay in seeking out mental health services. The results of the study indicated there are no statistically significant differences in ethnicity and help-seeking attitudes. However, there were statistically significant differences in help-seeking attitudes among participants who reported exposure to counseling and no exposure to counseling. Additionally, there were statistically significant differences in gender and help-seeking attitudes, with females being more likely to seek mental health counseling than male university students. Following the research findings, there will be a brief discussion of the research implications, limitations of study, and suggestions for future research .

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