Author(s)

Kristen Darroch

Date Approved

12-9-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Applied Psychology and Professional Mental Health Counseling

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Miller, Matthew

Subject(s)

Mental health services--Utilization;Religion

Disciplines

Psychiatric and Mental Health

Abstract

The present study was undertaken to assess the influence of religion on help seeking behaviors regarding mental health. Participants (n = 167) were volunteers from three different churches of Christian denominations who anonymously completed questionnaires regarding their religiosity and their attitude toward seeking help from a mental health professional. Analysis of the data found that subjects who belonged to liberal denominations of Christianity were more likely to seek help from a mental health professional for mental health issues than subjects belonging to more traditionally conservative denominations of Christianity. The study also found that subjects belonging to conservative denominations of Christianity scored higher on an instrument assessing religiosity. Future efforts to bring the mental health and faith communities together must focus on factors of conservative faiths that may be deterring church members from seeking help for mental health issues.

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