Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Previous research addressing mental health help seeking has been largely descriptive. In addition, these descriptions tended to focus on the help seeker and/or the type of help sought. The present study sought to validate previous research regarding the existence of four variables which influence a decision to seek counseling: (1) threat or problem severity, (2) perceived potential for loss of self reliance, (3) perceived external stigma, and (4) information and expectations about counseling;Subjects responded to a series of vignettes in which these four variables were manipulated. Demographic data and a self-esteem score were also gathered;Two hypotheses were tested: (1) the four previously mentioned variables have a significant impact on decisions about seeking counseling, and (2) different people utilize different "policies" in deciding to seek help. The first hypothesis was tested with a "policy capturing" procedure. This was followed by a cluster analysis in order to explore the second hypothesis;Two hundred sixty seven undergraduates completed the task. The policy capturing procedure suggested that the four variables of interest had a significant impact on help seeking decisions in 52% of the cases;The cluster analyses revealed three consistent and unique types of policies used by these subjects. Unfortunately, analyses of variance yielded little information about the constituents of clusters. This is an area needing further research;Implications for application of these results and for future research were also discussed.
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Deborah Jean Bushway
Bushway, Deborah Jean, "Policy capturing analyses of factors influencing decisions to seek professional counseling " (1985). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 12049.