Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 70 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

James F Boswell

Committee Members

Betty Lin


Mental health services, College students

Subject Categories



Background. Racial/ethnic minority college students seek therapy at lower rates than their white peers (Hunt et al., 2015), and men seek therapy at lower rates than women (Morgan et al., 2003). Further research is needed to understand potential mechanisms of differential help-seeking. Current study. In order to explore help-seeking in college students, we assessed expectations and preferences for therapy, perceptions about the role of gender and race/ethnicity in therapy, and attitudes toward seeking mental healthcare. Method. We interviewed (N = 98) college students from racially diverse backgrounds about their perceptions, attitudes, and expectations for therapy and therapist selection. Interview results were analyzed using Consensual Qualitative Research (Hill, 2012) methodology. Results. Attitudes, expectations, and perceptions were largely similar across racial/ethnic and gender groups. Some subgroup differences did emerge, specifically, white and male students reported that race and gender matter in therapist selection at lower rates than other students. Other subgroup differences are discussed on an exploratory basis. Conclusions. College students from diverse backgrounds share similar attitudes toward therapy and therapist selection. Understanding and being responsive to these needs may enhance culturally competent care for this population.

Included in

Psychology Commons