Training Track: Clinical
Lab: Improving Mental-health and Promoting Adjustment through College Transitions (IMPACT) Lab
Advisor: Colleen Conley, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 308
Emerging adulthood; the transition to college; college student mental health; implementation of prevention and intervention programs on college campuses, particularly peer-led and student-powered programs
Masters Thesis Title
Examining outcomes and mechanisms of the Honest, Open, Proud intervention in college students with mental illness
Masters Thesis Abstract
Emerging adulthood is a developmental stage involving many changes and transitions. The instability during this time can cause significant distress, making this a period of increased vulnerability for the development of mental illness. The rise in the incidence of mental illness on college campuses has caused an increased demand for mental health services. Unfortunately, college students face many barriers to treatment, including self-stigma. Honest, Open, Proud for college students (HOP-C) is a peer-led group-based intervention designed to reduce self-stigma in college students living with mental illness. Using a serial mediation model, the present study investigated outcomes and mechanisms of the HOP-C intervention using data from a multi-site study across three college campuses. Results indicated that HOP-C does not reduce symptoms of depression or anxiety and does not increase institutional attachment to one’s college or university. However, mediation analyses revealed that higher satisfaction with college peers predicts stronger institutional attachment, and stronger institutional attachment predicts fewer depression symptoms. Health promotion initiatives on college campuses should place a strong focus on building community and fostering a sense of belonging at the university. As these findings indicate, doing so will indirectly improve mental health outcomes while also improving student engagement and retention.
Masters Thesis Committee
Colleen Conley, PhD; Pat Rupert, PhD