Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Gregg Henriques

Craig N. Shealy

Elena Savina

Abstract

This dissertation presents a model of assessing and addressing the growing college student mental health crisis (CSMHC), which pertains to the rise of student pathology over time and difficulty meeting the needs of that growing population. A theory driven conceptual paradigm was developed, based on Henriques’ (2011; Henriques & Stout, 2012) Unified Approach to psychology and psychotherapy and, specifically, the Nested Model of Well-being (Henriques, Kleinman, & Asselin, 2014) and Character Adaptation Systems Theory (CAST). Based on those conceptual models and an understanding of college student mental health concerns, the Psychological Check-Up was designed. The Psychological Check-Up consists of a comprehensive assessment battery, wherein students complete brief measures online, schedule in-vivo interviews with clinical researchers and return for therapeutic feedback and a written report of their well-being, character functioning, and recommendations for greater adaptive living. The current project constituted the pilot phase and, as such, contained two distinct studies. In Study 1, the clinical researchers collected normative data from a large sample of college students who completed the Psychological Check-Up assessment battery online. In Study 2, a second sample of college students (n=19) completed the entire Psychological Check-Up protocol. Results of this pilot phase indicated that the Psychological Check-Up was judged to be highly feasible, clinically useful, and meaningful for participants. Thus, it is the clinical researchers’ belief that the Psychological Check-Up is an effective method of assessing and addressing the CSMHC as the proposed protocol represents a method of identifying and treating at-risk individuals in a way that is efficient, systematic and also theoretically grounded.

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