Problem Statement: High rates of mental illness and poor treatment seeking have plagued the military for decades. As an organization that demands resilience, sacrifice, strength, and courage from its members, many servicemembers develop deep-seated self-reliance and self-efficacy. Though essential in many critical situations, these traits often complicate a servicemember's willingness to seek care for a mental health concern. Student servicemembers/veterans (SSM/Vs) are at an increased risk for poor mental health outcomes owing to the compounded stressors of military service and academia. Purpose: To measure the impact of elements of military service, namely self-reliance and self-efficacy, on mental health treatment seeking intention among a sample of SSM/Vs. Review of Evidence: Among military populations, a negative correlation is often seen between self-reliance and mental health treatment seeking. The evidence is mixed related to the relationship between mental health treatment seeking and self-efficacy. Few studies have examined these interactions among SSM/Vs. Design: A cross-sectional, anonymous, web-based survey employed three validated measurement tools. Student servicemembers/veterans (N = 285) from 54 universities across the nation were recruited using a multi-pronged strategy in the fall of 2020. Results: Results confirmed a negative correlation (p <0.001) between self-reliance and mental health treatment seeking intention. No correlation arose between either measure and self-efficacy. Conclusion: Recognizing the link between military culture and the development of self-reliance, as well as the negative implications of self-reliance on mental health treatment seeking, healthcare providers should reframe mental health care in such a way that it does not conflict with deep-seated military values.
Dr. Linda Wofford
Scholarly Project Team Member
Dr. David Phillippi
Nursing, School of
Health Sciences & Nursing, Gordon E. Inman College of
Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Student servicemember/veteran, military culture, mental illness, mental health, self-reliance, self-efficacy, treatment seeking intention
Holdsambeck, Leigh, "Self-Reliance and Self-Efficacy as Determinants of Mental Health Treatment Seeking Intention in a Sample of Student Service Members/Veterans" (2021). DNP Scholarly Projects. 59.