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Kimberly Sollows, Psy.D., is a 2019 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England Dissertation Committee: Gargi Roysircar, EdD, Committee Chair Melissa Boudreau, PsyD, Committee Member Bryan Clarke, PsyD, Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2019

Abstract

Continued engagement in military conflicts and known underutilization of mental health services by veterans necessitates understanding of factors influencing veterans’ attitudes about mental health treatment and decisions to seek services. The present study examined relationships between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, perceived support from spouse, and attitudes toward mental health help-seeking among married U.S. veterans. Participants (N =39) were recruited using social media outreach, an online gaming platform, and through print fliers. First, it was hypothesized that perceived spousal support would be significantly positively correlated with attitudes toward treatment seeking, which was supported to a moderate degree (r=.345, p=.031). Second, it was hypothesized that PTSD symptom severity and perceived support from spouse would be negatively correlated at a significance level of .05, which was not supported (r=-0.184, p=.263). Third, it was hypothesized that participation in mental health treatment would be associated with more positive attitudes toward mental health services, which was supported, t(37)=2.51, p=0.016. Furthermore, PTSD diagnostic status was found to moderate the relationship between perceived support from spouse and attitudes toward mental health treatment, such that support was associated with more positive treatment attitudes for married veterans without PTSD (r=.440, p=0.012); but this relationship may be reversed or extinguished in the presence of posttraumatic symptoms above clinical threshold for probable diagnosis. Clinical implications of study findings, limitations to the study, and directions for future research are discussed.

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Kimberly Sollows

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-7168-5065

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