Term of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Michael Nielsen

Committee Member 1

Jeff Klibert

Committee Member 2

Karen Naufel


Less than one third of individuals who have mental or emotional concerns pursue professional mental health services (Andrews, Issakidis, & Carter, 2001). This study compared the public stigma of seeking psychological services in four regions of the United States. It was hypothesized that there would be greater levels of stigma measured in the South. Participants were recruited through a survey service to complete a web-based questionnaire that consisted of three measures: Social Stigma for Receiving Psychological Help Scale, the Intrinsic/Extrinsic-Revised (I/E-R) Scales to measure religiousness, and the Culture of Honor Questionnaire Along with demographic information participants were asked what region of the country they identify with. .Regression analysis was conducted to analyze the possible relationships of the variables. Results indicated that religiousness did not have a mediating effect for region or rurality as it relates to perceived public stigma. Results also indicated that there is a positive relationship between scores on the CHQ and measures of public stigma. The significance of this investigation is to examine possible variables related to stigma such as religiousness and region in an attempt to pinpoint barriers to seeking psychological help more completely. If this can be accomplished then more work in this field may be able to devise appropriate and specialized means of creating collaborations with mental health providers where needed and combating stigma as it has been so damaging in keeping those who need professional psychological services from seeking them.