Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Z. Anderson

Second Advisor

Dr. Lonnie E. Duncan

Third Advisor

Dr. C. Dennis Simpson


Help seeking intentions, Black Americans, black church goers, help seeking attitudes, African Americans


The present study examined the strength of certain help-seeking barriers and predictor variables in predicting the help-seeking intentions of African American churchgoers. Research suggests numerous barriers impede mental health use among African Americans; however, the present study focused on help-seeking attitudes, cultural mistrust, psychological distress, self-stigma, public stigma, and perceived behavioral control (Hines-Martin, Malone, Kim, & Brown-Piper, 2003; Sullivan, Harris, Collado & Chen, 2006). The theory of planned behavior (TPB) served as a theoretical underpinning, guiding the integration of theory-based and culture-specific variables in one model. The present sample included 159 Black American churchgoers and attendees. The study‘s variables were each hypothesized to predict help-seeking intentions among the sample. A bivariate correlation and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) provided support in constructing and testing three path models. While the path models demonstrated an overall poor fit of the data, findings from the other statistical tests partially supported the proposed hypotheses. Considering the present study is one of few to investigate the help-seeking intentions of Black American churchgoers, further exploration is warranted, and implications for research and practice are extensive.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access