Date Approved

6-29-2009

Date Posted

1-14-2011

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Ellen I. Koch, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Sheila A.M. Rauch, PhD

Committee Member

Flora Hoodin, PhD

Committee Member

Silvia von Kluge, PhD

Abstract

Despite a significant number of Afghanistan and Iraqi veterans who reported symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, the majority of these veterans did not seek help for these problems. Past research has shown several variables that may contribute to an individual seeking help for a mental health problem including demographic variables, nature and severity of the mental health problem, and psychological variables. All Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veterans and service members that registered with the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System between 2001 and 2007 were contacted by mail and asked to participate in the Internet-based survey. Participants were asked to complete several questionnaires regarding their current physical and psychological health, social support, self-efficacy, stigma, and barriers relating to seeking help for a psychological or physical problem as well as informal and formal help-seeking patterns. The primary goal of this study was to examine predictors of help-seeking for a psychological problem within the framework of a new model of help-seeking. Results indicated a significant model fit in the multiple linear regression analyses for help-seeking intentions; however, results were not strong in the logistic analyses for past help-seeking behavior. Interestingly, the independent variable, attitudes toward seeking mental health services, was a significant coefficient in all psychological and physical help-seeking models. Implications for this population regarding assessment, outreach, and program development are discussed.

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