Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jonathan S. Gore

Department Affiliation

Psychology

Abstract

People from rural areas of the country, such as the Appalachian region of Kentucky, continue to struggle with inadequate mental health services. Past research has identified several barriers for mental health services in rural communities such as lack of mental health providers, lack of transportation, and lack of education. The purpose of this study was to examine the severity of a psychological problem and how it could influence Appalachian and non-Appalachians' preference for type of help. It was hypothesized that people from the Appalachian region would recommend seeing a mental health professional when a problem had reached its highest severity. Additionally, it was hypothesized that people from the Appalachian region would recommend, in this order, talking to no one, close others, a religious leader, and physician before talking to a mental health professional. On the other hand, it was believed that people from non-Appalachians areas would recommend, in this order, talking to no one and close others before talking to a mental health professional. Results showed that the first hypothesis was confirmed, and hypotheses two and three were partially confirmed. Findings suggested that Appalachians' tendency to recommend a mental health counselor was strongly linked to their perception of how severe the symptoms were. More Appalachian participants recommended talking with a religious leader compared to non-Appalachian participants. No significant differences were found between the groups when examining the percentage of recommendations for a physician.

Share

COinS