Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award

Fall 11-11-2020

Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name





Dr. Noam Shpancer

First Committee Member

Dr. Noam Shpancer

Second Committee Member

Dr. Meredith Frey

Third Committee Member

Dr. Michele Acker


Psychology, Counseling, Religion, Mental Health, Psychological Research, Treatment Preference

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Counseling Psychology | Higher Education | Social Psychology


The underutilization of mental health services by college students is an enduring problem, highlighted by increasing popularity of mental health awareness efforts. One strategy used to understand this problem is examining college students’ attitudes toward seeking psychological help. The present study sought to examine college students’ attitudes toward seeking both psychological and religious forms of help, and the roles of religiosity/spirituality, psychological distress, and gender in predicting treatment preference. Understanding what kind of treatment students prefer and the important predictors of this preference may help us to address more effectively the problem of mental health service underutilization. In a large (N = 153) sample of college students, the present study found that gender and an interaction between gender and religiosity/spirituality did not predict treatment preference. Additionally, religiosity/spirituality positively related to attitudes toward religious help-seeking, but had no significant relationship with psychological help-seeking. Finally, the present study found that an interaction between religiosity/spirituality and psychological distress helped predict a significant portion of variation in participants’ treatment preference.