Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Clinical Psychology, PhD



Faculty Advisor

Lance Swenson


Veterans face many mental health challenges after deployment, including serious mental illness and problematic alcohol use (Hoge et al., 2014). Research shows that there is a discrepancy between the number of personnel with a probable need for treatment and the number seeking and receiving treatment (Hoge et al., 2004). While many impediments to care have been researched (e.g., Britt et al., 2008; Graziano & Elbogen, 2017; Kim et al., 2011; Olmsted et al., 2011; Pietrzak et al., 2009; Wright et al., 2009), perceived need for treatment is an important issue that warrants further empirical exploration. Military personnel may be particularly prone to misjudged perceptions of need for treatment (Vogt, Fox, & Di Leone, 2014). Studies have shown that misjudged need for treatment can impact treatment seeking (e.g., Andrade et al., 2014; Graziano & Elbogen, 2017; Larson et al., 2012; Spoont et al., 2014; Stecker, Fortney, Hamilton, & Ajzen, 2007; Vogt et al., 2014; Warner et al., 2008). This study explored perceived need for treatment for the domains of alcohol, post-traumatic stress disorder, and marital problems in military personnel. Supporting prior literature, more service members indicated problems in these domains than recognized a need for treatment. Additionally, there were several significant moderators of the relationship between probable and perceived need for care, including age, race, military branch, and exposure to combat. In an extension of prior research, Veterans did express mild interest in treatment, and, more critically, perceived need for care moderated the relationship between probable need and interest in treatment for all of the domains. This study fills gaps in the literature by further exploring the impact of perceived need for care on interest in treatment.

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