Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Date Information

May 2015

Department

School of Nursing

First Advisor

Hannah Fraley

Abstract

Background: Depression is a serious illness, warranting adequate access to care and treatment among adolescents. The aim of this study was to further understand college students’ perception of mental illness and perceived parental views regarding mental health disorders. Methods: Ethnicity and fields of study were analyzed to note any significance amongst the groups. Convenience sampling was used, targeting participants’ ages 18-25 years at Salem State University. Using mixed methods methodology, participants was asked to conduct a survey questionnaire. Survey questions were geared towards participant perception of depression, and perceptions of parental views on mental illness. Results: A total of 266 anonymous surveys were collected and analyzed to find that the majority of participants’ parental views on education and depression were correct. On the other hand, 25% of surveyors believed that their parents would believe that depression is caused by bad or weak character. As for ethnicity, Asian or Pacific Islander (50%), Hispanic or Latinos (35%), and Black or African American (36%) were more likely to think that their parents would believe that depression is caused by bad or weak character. As for fields of study, non-science majors were more likely to have stigmatizing beliefs in regards to depression. Conclusion: Further education on depression knowledge should be acknowledged in the school system, media, and more importantly; our health care system. Increased and more in-depth screenings for adolescent depression should be seen by the primary health care provider in order to decrease the number of untreated depression cases. For future studies, a more in-depth survey should be distributed with a larger sample size to increase the numbers in diversity.

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