Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Summer 2020

Thesis Director

Steven J. Scher

Thesis Committee Member

Mariana M. Juras

Thesis Committee Member

Jeffrey R. Stowell


This study sought to investigate the relationship between perceived availability of social support and religious support on willingness to seek professional mental health counseling. Sixty-five (41 females and 18 males, 6 gender unspecified) students at Eastern Illinois University completed measures of religiosity (the Duke University Religion Index; DUREL), perceived availability of social support (the Late Adolescent Social Support Inventory; LASSI), religious support (from God, from religious leaders, from fellow religious participants; the Multi-Faith Religious Support Scale; MFRSS) and willingness to seek counseling (Willingness to See a Counselor scale; WSC). Religiosity did not play a significant role in influencing the willingness of participants to seek counseling. Religious support from God had a significant negative relationship with WSC; perceived availability of support had a marginally significant positive relationship to willingness to seek counseling, contrary to our prediction of a negative effect. In a further deviation from predictions, support from religious leaders and support from religious co-participants did not significantly predict WSC. Furthermore, there was no evidence that the interactions between the LASSI and religious support variables added to our ability to predict WSC. These findings suggest that there is a need for much more work on the relationships among willingness to seek counseling, religious support, and more general social support.