Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. Leo Herrman
Research analyzing factors that are indicative of treatment seeking for depression is warranted. In the United States, approximately 70% of individuals with depression do not receive treatment. The aim of the current study is to evaluate motivation to change, God image, and religious affiliation as predictors of current treatment engagement for depression. Motivation to change has previously been evaluated as a predictor of treatment outcome for depression but not as a predictor of current treatment engagement. Additionally, previous research indicates religious involvement is associated with less depressive symptomology but is in turn related to negative views towards mental health treatment seeking. However, research is limited in discerning whether these negative views impact the actual behavior of engaging in mental health treatment.
Participants were recruited utilizing Amazon’s Mechanical TurkTM, an online survey administration system. Participants completed a series of questionnaires regrading depressive symptomatology, motivation to change, God image, and religious affiliation. The current study proposed four hypotheses. First, the 6 dimensions of one’s God image will be negatively related to depressive symptomatology. Secondly, motivation to change will be predictive of current treatment engagement among participants with depression, such that those with a higher motivation to change will be more likely to currently be engaged in treatment. Thirdly, one’s God Image will be predictive of current treatment engagement among participants with depression, such that participants with a more positive image of God will be less likely to currently be engaged in treatment. Finally, when considering participants with depression, those who are religiously affiliated will be less likely than those who are unaffiliated to be currently engaged in treatment.
Our first hypothesis was partially supported as 5 of the 6 God Image Scales were inversely correlated with depressive symptomology. Our second and third hypotheses were not supported as neither motivation to change or God image significantly predicted current treatment engagement among those with depression. Finally, our fourth hypothesis was not supported as Christians were more likely than atheists and agnostics to currently be in treatment for depression. The findings for the current study indicate it may be beneficial for clinicians to address one’s image of God in therapy. Additionally, the results suggest the negative views towards mental health treatment seeking held by religious individuals does not impede the actual behavior of engaging in treatment.
Chiasson, Cyrus, "Uncovering the Depression Treatment Gap: The Role of Motivation to Change, God Image, and Religious Affiliation" (2020). Master's Theses. 3146.
Copyright 2020 Cyrus Chiasson