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Work in Progress: Measuring Stigma of Mental Health Conditions and Its Impact in Help-seeking Behaviors Among Engineering Students

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Efforts to Understand and Support Students' Socioemotional Factors

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/38181

Download Count

75

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Paper Authors

biography

Matilde Luz Sanchez-Pena University at Buffalo

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Matilde Sanchez-Pena is an Assistant Professor in engineering education at University at Buffalo - SUNY. Her current research areas include (a) advancing institutional diversity, (b) cultures of health in engineering education, and (c) data analysis skills of engineers. She aims to promote a more equitable engineering field in which students of all backgrounds can acquire the knowledge and skills to achieve their goals. She obtained her Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Before engaging in Engineering Education research, she completed graduate degrees in Industrial Engineering and Statistics and contributed to a wide range of research areas including genetic disorders, manufacturing optimization, cancer biomarker detection, and the evaluation of social programs. Dr. Sanchez-Pena is passionate about teaching engineering students and First-Year Engineering students in particular, from whom she draws inspiration because of their energy and creativity. She takes as her mission to foster such traits and support their holistic development, so they can find their unique engineering path and enact positive change.

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biography

Nichole Ramirez Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Nichole Ramirez is a Research Data Analyst in the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness Purdue University. She received her Ph.D. in Engineering Education and M.S. in Aviation and Aerospace Management from Purdue University, and her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Alabama. As a postdoctoral researcher, she was the Associate Director of Policy Analysis for the Multiple Institution Database for Investigating Engineering Longitudinal Development (MIDFIELD). She is also President of the Board of Directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - West Central Indiana.

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Xinrui (Rose) Xu Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Xinrui (Rose) Xu graduated from the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She currently works at the Engineering Education Research Center of Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Prior to her current role, she used to serve as a senior career consultant at the Purdue University Center for Career Opportunities. She received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a Master’s degree in counseling and counselor education. Her research interests include student career development and pathways, student major choice, diversity in engineering, and student mental health.

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Douglas B. Samuel Purdue University, West Lafayette

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My research focuses on the development of dimensional trait models of mental health problems and their application in clinical practice.

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Abstract

In this work in progress we explore the relationship between stigma of mental health conditions (MHC) and help-seeking behaviors among engineering students. The prevalence of mental health conditions among college students has been increasing during the last decades and it will only be heightened by the challenges currently faced in our society. Nevertheless, it has been documented that college students have multiple challenges to seek help for their mental health conditions when they arise. Furthermore, it is known that engineering students are less likely to seek help than students in other fields when in such circumstances. Stigma of mental health conditions is a persistent societal challenge that deter people from seeking help when needed. Given the characteristics known about the engineering students’ population and the engineering culture of high-stress and enduring that has been consciously or unconsciously promoted in the engineering field, we hypothesize a relationship between stigma about mental illness and the proclivity of engineering students to seek help for such conditions. This work explores the relationship between stigma of mental illness and help-seeking behaviors of engineering students using responses from an online survey from 79 students at two institutions. Results show a negative correlation that suggest that higher general stigma levels are associated with lower help-seeking behaviors. In addition, engineering-specific stigma was slightly correlated with help-seeking behaviors. This is part of an ongoing research line aiming to characterize the dynamics of engineering culture and wellbeing through multiple quantitative and qualitative approaches. Insights from this research will support a better understanding of the prevalence of stigma in the field and a comparison against the general population as well as the assessment of resources available to students to address their mental health challenges.

Sanchez-Pena, M. L., & Ramirez, N., & Xu, X. R., & Samuel, D. B. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Measuring Stigma of Mental Health Conditions and Its Impact in Help-seeking Behaviors Among Engineering Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38181

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