Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
There is a growing need for mental health services in the United States due to increased rates of psychopathology. Emerging adults, ages ranging from 18 to 24 years, experience high rates of psychopathology and thus have a strong need for available mental health treatments (Eisenberg et al., 2007). Despite this need and the efficacy of mental health treatment as a whole, there are many barriers to treatment utilization, including stigma. This study examines level of anxiety and stigma as barriers to help-seeking using data collected through the Healthy Minds Survey at the University of Richmond. Moderation analyses revealed that anxiety was less strongly related to greater perceived need for mental health treatment among those with higher levels of perceived stigma. However, anxiety was more strongly related to current enrollment in therapy among those with higher levels of perceived and personal stigma, particularly for White students (though not students of color). These results suggest that anxiety itself may not be a barrier to treatment in this population, though additional research is needed to ascertain the role of stigma as a barrier to help-seeking. They also suggest the need for alternative theoretical models to be examined when exploring barriers to mental health treatment among students of color.
Walters, Allison, "Stigma and Anxiety as Barriers to Help-Seeking Among University of Richmond Students" (2022). Honors Theses. 1649.