Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Angela R. Staton

Eric Cowan

Lennis Echterling


The purpose of this study was to examine the process by which college students self-disclose feelings of sadness or depression to create social support. This mixed methods study, which focused primarily on qualitative data, explored the lived experience of participants through an online survey and face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Results indicated that college students who are experiencing negative feelings grapple with challenges such as identifying someone to share their emotions with and choosing what information to share with others. Findings also demonstrated the importance of social support to college students who are dealing with feelings of sadness and depression in order to help mediate their negative feelings and ameliorate their sadness. Considerations for counselors and college student personnel who work closely with college students are included.



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