The Theory of Planned Behavior as it predicts potential intention to seek mental health services for depression among college students

Lisa M. Bohon, Kelly A. Cotter, Richard L Kravitz, Philip C. Cello, Erik Fernandez y Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Between 9.5% and 31.3% of college students suffer from depression (American college health association national college health assessment II: reference group executive summary spring 2013. Amer. Coll. Health Assoc. 2013; Eagan K, Stolzenberg EB, Ramirez JJ, Aragon, MC, Suchard, RS, Hurtado S. The American freshman: national norms fall 2014. Higher Educ. Res. Inst.; 2015). Universities need to understand the factors that relate to care-seeking behavior. Objective: Across 3 studies, to relate attitudes, social norms, and perceived behavioral control to intention to seek mental health services, and to investigate barriers to care-seeking. Participants: University college students (N = 845, 64% female, 26% male, and 10% unspecified). Methods: New measures were created in Studies 1 and 2, and were examined using structural equation modeling in Study 3. Results: Partially consistent with the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, I, Fishbein, M. Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall; 1980), a model with an excellent fit revealed that more positive attitudes about care and higher perceived behavioral control directly predicted higher intention to seek mental health services. Conclusions: Educating college students about mental health disorders and treatments, enhancing knowledge about available services, and addressing limited access to long-term care might improve treatment rates for students suffering from depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of American College Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 4 2016

Keywords

  • College students
  • community health
  • counseling
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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