Year of Publication

2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Pamela Remer

Abstract

Former United States military members have consistently faced mental health concerns post discharge from the military. Some researchers have argued that the use of mental health services by veterans does not parallel the prevalence and need of such services (Hoge, Castro, Messer, McGurk, Cotting, & Koffman, 2004; Milliken, Auchterlonie, & Hoge, 2007; Vogt, 2011). Reasons why veterans do not access mental health care are varied and broad, however, they tend to be consistent with explanations rooted in the stigma of mental health care, and in the barriers that prevent the use of mental health care. The degree of the impact of factors contributing to stigma and barriers to mental health care is not fully understood. Particularly lacking from previous research is an examination of how the education received while in the military about mental health symptoms and treatment impacts the likelihood that a service member will access care. In the current study, I used theories of stigma and barriers to care outlined by Overton and Medina (2008) to examine the relationships among demographic characteristics, self-reported diagnoses of common mental health disorders that veterans experience, and likelihood of accessing mental health care based on the education received while in the military with self-reported levels of stigma and barriers to care in a sample of 355 former military service members from several branches. Multiple regression analyses were used to examine the relationships among these variables. Results revealed statistically significant relationships among gender, age, self-reported diagnosis of depression, the impact of education, and stigma. Results also revealed statistically significant relationships among employment and barriers to care. In addition, stigma was found to have significant relationships with the positive impact of education, and the likelihood of accessing care. Lastly, results revealed that when in the presence of the mediation variable impact of education, stigma was no longer associated with the likelihood veterans would access care post discharge.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2018.261

Included in

Psychology Commons

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