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ERIC Number: ED564884
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 172
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-5409-1
Faculty Attitudes toward Addressing Mental Health Conditions and Substance Abuse among College Students
O'Connor-Merrigan, Mary L.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
The continued prevalence of mental health conditions and substance abuse among students enrolled in institutions of higher education is a significant and progressing concern, with marked impact on retention, academic success, graduation rate, and alarming personal consequences. Yet, many institutions struggle with successfully addressing these concerns. Resiliency theory offers a framework through which instructions can transition away from compartmentalization and random policies toward collaboration among the entire campus community to effectively address mental health conditions and substance abuse on campus. This level of collaboration among the entire campus community includes faculty. However, research on the benefits of faculty participation is limited. The purpose of this study was to determine faculty members' perceptions of their knowledge and attitudes toward identifying, approaching, and referring students with mental health conditions and substance abuse to appropriate services; and if perceptions were influenced by faculty's personal characteristics. Data were collected from 339 full-time faculty at a Great Plains university using a modified survey instrument developed by Marion Becker, utilizing a five-point Likert-type scale to examine faculty perceptions. The data (25.9% return rate) were analyzed through the calculations of means and standard deviations, t tests, and one-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) with a post hoc Tukey's test (p <0.05). The results of the study indicated a wide range of faculty attitudes and perceptions. Faculty (91.0%) agreed they can play a significant role in supporting students with mental health conditions and substance abuse. Faculty (96.0%) also agreed that students can recover and be successful. Faculty's perceptions of their knowledge in identifying specific symptomology were noteworthy yet, faculty were reluctant to directly approach a student and make a referral. Academic discipline strongly influenced faculty perceptions. Faculty in Medicine/Health Science with formal education on mental health conditions and substance abuse perceived themselves as more knowledgeable and comfortable than did faculty without formal education. Therefore, professional development can be tailored toward refining the skills of formally educated faculty and more comprehensively train faculty with less formal education on mental health and substance abuse. Faculty (67.0%) respondents indicated a significant willingness to participate in profession development to enhance knowledge. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A