Trauma Exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Predictors of Mental Health Treatment Use in College Students

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Abstract

The authors examined trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associations with previous mental health (MH) treatment use in college students while statistically controlling for gender and treatment attitudes. A total of 300 students were recruited for an Internet survey and were administered a modified version of the demographic survey, the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire (L. Goodman, C. Corcoran, K. Turner, N. Yuan, & B. L. Green, 1998), PTSD Symptom Scale—Self-Report (PSS; E. B. Foa, D. S. Riggs, C. V. Dancu, & B. O. Rothbaum, 1993), Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale—Short Form (ATSPPH; E. H. Fischer & A. Farina, 1995), and a MH treatment use survey. Univariate analyses demonstrated that previous MH treatment use was associated with violent crime and noncrime trauma frequency, and treatment attitudes. Controlling for gender and MH treatment attitudes, regression analyses including violent and noncrime trauma and PTSD significantly predicted previous MH service use and recent visit counts; only noncrime trauma and treatment attitudes were significant for service use, and only treatment attitudes was significant for visit counts.

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