Date of Award

7-22-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Derek Hatfield, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Anson Long, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Dante Mancini, Ph.D.

Abstract

The present study updates and addresses some of the limitations in the existing research regarding interventions aimed at altering college students’ expectations and attitudes about seeking therapy. Past studies have utilized multiple intervention modalities, including written information, video and audio tapes, live presentations, and multimedia presentations. However, the literature is still inconclusive as to which modality is superior. The current study examined the effects of altering both the content and modality of an intervention on college students’ expectations and attitudes about seeking therapy. It used both live presentations and videotape presentations, as well as altering the role of the individual giving the presentation, in order to see if a therapist or client is more efficacious at improving help-seeking attitudes. Additionally, this study examined whether or not providing information about the efficacy of therapy would improve attitudes towards seeking therapy. A total of 139 undergraduate students participated in this study. The results suggested that there was an improvement in attitudes and expectations from pre-test to post-test one. However, providing information about therapy efficacy in the intervention did not significantly improve attitudes or expectations about therapy compared to not presenting efficacy information, nor did using a client presenter significantly increase attitudes or expectations about therapy compared to a therapist presenter. Presenting the intervention live also did not significantly improve attitudes or expectations about therapy compared to presenting the intervention on video. Findings suggest that further research is needed to better understand the role of efficacy information, type of presenter, and modality on college students’ attitudes and expectations of therapy.

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