Title page for ETD etd-12072009-114821


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Rodgers, Brandon Ellis
URN etd-12072009-114821
Title An Ecological Approach to Understanding the Stigma Associated with Receiving Mental Health Services: The Role of Social Proximity
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dolbin-MacNab, Megan L. Committee Chair
Garrison, James E. Committee Member
Johnson, Scott W. Committee Member
Piercy, Fred P. Committee Member
Keywords
  • service barriers
  • mental health
  • stigma
Date of Defense 2009-12-03
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Mental health services suffer the substantial limitation of helping only those who seek their assistance. Previous research has demonstrated that mental health stigma, including social and self-stigma, is one of the most significant barriers to an individual seeking available mental health services. Additionally, low levels of social proximity to mental illness may be a significant factor in increased social and self-stigma. Informed by ecological systems theory, this research examined demographic (i.e., gender, race/ethnicity, university) and social proximity factors (i.e., level of familiarity with mental illness and mental health services) that contributed to the mental health stigma associated with seeking mental health services within a university population. Web-based survey responses from 410 undergraduate students at two universities were obtained. A series of hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that while controlling for gender, race/ethnicity, and university, having personally received mental health services predicted lower levels of mental health self-stigma. Consistent with previous findings, a significant predictive quality of social stigma towards self-stigma was also found. However, none of the models utilizing social proximity factors to predict social stigma were significant. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
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