Off-campus Pacific University users: To download campus access theses and dissertations, please log into our proxy server with your PUNet ID and password.

Non-Pacific University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Theses or dissertations that have a specific embargo period indicated below will not be available to anyone until the date indicated.

Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Lisa R. Christiansen, PsyD

Second Advisor

Paul G. Michael, PhD


Previous research has found that stigma is a significant barrier to seeking mental health care services, resulting in underutilization of effective mental health treatments. This study examined the relationship between perceived stigma for seeking psychological help and personal stigma of others for seeking psychological help in a sample of adults in the United States (N=267). In addition, the relationships of mental health knowledge and previous experience with mental illness with stigma were examined. Results revealed that the mean perceived stigma score (M = 9.80, SD = 4.59) was significantly greater than the mean personal stigma score (M = 6.73, SD = 3.26), t = 11.14, p < .001. Mental health knowledge was significantly negatively correlated to personal stigma (r = -.42, p < .001). People with previous exposure to mental health care (M = 10.19, SD = 4.77) on average perceived more stigma than those without previous exposure (M = 8.79, SD = 3.88), t = -2.45, p = .02; however, results revealed no significant difference in personal stigma between people in the previous exposure condition and people in the no previous exposure condition. The findings of this study could be used to inform the development of stigma reduction interventions with the ultimate goal of increasing mental health care utilization by people in need of services.


The digital version of this paper is currently unavailable to off-campus users; however, it may be accessed on campus or through interlibrary loan (for eligible borrowers) from Pacific University Library. Pacific University Library is a free lender.

This paper will become openly available for download 24 months after its initial posting in CommonKnowledge.

Library Use: LIH