Examining Attitudes Toward and Utilization of Mental Health App(lication)s for Mental Health Service Delivery Among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Amy Damashek, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Erlanger Turner, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Anthony DeFulio, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Scott Gaynor, Ph.D.


The prevalence of mental health conditions among Americans has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has been found to disproportionately affect communities of color and has contributed to elevated rates of mortality, morbidity, and mental illness. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are less likely to utilize or have access to conventional mental health services due to several access-related barriers including inadequate resources, cultural factors, lack of awareness and knowledge about mental health, mistrust of the health and mental health field and providers, and provider biases. Mental health applications (MHAs; software apps that delivery mental health services) provides an alternative mode of treatment for mental health conditions and may ameliorate barriers to accessing care for underserved individuals. Thus, it is important to understand the attitudes toward and utilization rates of MHAs among BIPOC. Furthermore, it is unknown whether attitudes toward and utilization rates of MHAs differ between BIPOC and White Americans. The primary goal of the present study is to compare the attitudes toward (i.e., general attitudes [positive vs. negative], perceived value of, and willingness to use) as well as the utilization rates of MHAs between BIPOC and White Americans. As a secondary goal, this study aims to compare the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on attitudes towards MHAs between BIPOC and White individuals.

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Dissertation-Abstract Only

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