Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Emily Donald

Committee Members

S. Elizabeth Likis-Werle, Ginette Blackhart


Counseling services are offered in most universities, but are often underutilized. Past researchers found that students listed time, cost, stigma, and confidentiality concerns as their top reasons for avoiding seeking help (e.g., Clement et al., 2015; Dearing, Maddux, and Tangney, 2005). The purpose of this study was to identify whether concerns about confidentiality affect stigma related to use of mental health services. Students answered questions about perceived stigma and the reasons they have avoided seeking counseling in the past. Those who had previously used services reported fewer confidentiality concerns. In a stepwise multiple regression, concerns about confidentiality were found to predict significantly more of the variability in perceived stigma. Students with confidentiality concerns were invited to a focus group to explore further, and major themes included pride, accessibility, cost, and lack of information. Future research is needed in implementing better communication with students about services and the purpose of counseling.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.