College of Arts & Sciences

Date of Award

Winter 12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jim Olson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jamie Hughes, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Janet Carter, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study examined whether adults (age 25 to 50) self-report symptoms of anxiety and/or depression and whether these individuals accurately identify the symptoms that are associated with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder. Do these individuals believe the symptoms associated with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder are severe enough to seek professional help? The participants included 30 females and 20 males. Zung’s Self-Rating Depression (SDS; 1971) and Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS; 1965) were administered. A third questionnaire was also developed to help identify if individuals are able to accurately identify symptoms, distinguish between the two disorders, and rate if the symptoms are considered severe enough to seek professional help. The results of a Pearson correlation indicated that there was a negative correlation between assessed anxiety or depression and one’s ability to accurately identify the symptoms. Anxiety and depression were found to be highly correlated and a /-test showed significant differences between those who knew someone who sought professional help for anxiety and/or depression and those who reported they would seek help themselves if diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

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