Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Steven Danish


OBJECTIVE: The study assessed the applicability of the social norms approach to help-seeking behavior in the military by exploring whether Service Members are affected by perceptions of peers’ beliefs about stigma related barriers to mental health care. METHOD: Data were collected from members of the Virginia National Guard (N= 84) during Yellow Ribbon events. Using surveys, Service Members’ own perceptions and their perceptions of their peers’ beliefs about barriers to seeking psychological care were gathered. RESULTS: Participants’ own beliefs about barriers to care were positively correlated with perceptions of peers’ beliefs. Variance in help-seeking status was better accounted for by participants’ own beliefs on stigma-related barriers to care, but perceptions of peers’ beliefs were also correlated with help-seeking status. CONCLUSION: Personal costs of seeking help according to personal and perceptions of peers’ beliefs are explored, as well as implications, next steps for future research, and limitations.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013