Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Studies

Department name when degree awarded

Human Development and Family Science

Committee Chair(s)

Elizabeth Fauth (Committee Co-Chair), Scot Allgood (Committee Co-Chair)


Elizabeth Fauth


Scot Allgood


Ryan Seedall


Josh Novak


Gretchen Peacock


Students’ mental health issues are a common concern on college campuses and are often addressed via prevention programming called mental health literacy. This dissertation consists of two studies regarding mental health literacy programming for college students at a western university in the United States. In study one, the Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy Assessment Tool (MHAA-AT) was created and evaluated for its utility in assessing college students’ mental health literacy. This assessment tool is unique in that it is built upon a process-based approach to mental health literacy. The assessment tool demonstrated adequate psychometric properties and it was deemed an appropriate tool to assess college students’ mental health literacy, specifically their declarative knowledge, self-efficacy, and behaviors. In study two the Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy (MHAA) curriculum was created and evaluated in a college student population. The MHAA curriculum is unique in that is taught in-person or online in a degree seeking program at a college or university. Results from study two suggest that the MHAA curriculum was effective in increasing college students’ mental health literacy scores, specifically their declarative knowledge and self-efficacy. The benefit of this two-study dissertation is that it provides a unique way to deliver and evaluate effective mental health literacy prevention programming on a larger scale via a degree-seeking program to college students.