Date Submitted


Faculty Advisor

Amy Sickel, PsyD

Second Faculty Advisor

Amy Shoffner, PsyD

Third Faculty Advisor

Vincenza Marash, PhD


Although popular psychiatric phenomena such as depression and schizophrenia have been extensively studied throughout the years, stigma surrounding mental illness is still prevalent among Western society. The etiology of depression is continuously researched as the illness pulls distinctly from biopsychosocial roots, ultimately leaving room for multicausal etiologies and corresponding treatment plans. However, many clinicians and laypersons alike look to make psychiatric illnesses such as depression more concrete and biological in nature in order to better understand and possibly cure these diseases. A relatively unknown area of research involves the treatment implications of the “chemical imbalance” theory for depression. This research is novel compared to existing research in that this is the first design that investigated the general public’s opinions regarding the etiology of depression by measuring attitudes before and after a brief psychoeducational video is implemented. The study’s primary pre-post survey examined (1) the type of clinician participants would seek if experiencing depressive symptomatology, (2) the type of treatment participants would seek if experiencing depressive symptomatology (i.e., a prescription antidepressant, therapy and/or counseling), (3) specific beliefs regarding the etiology of depression, and (4) qualitative data related to stigma about depression. Statistically significant results indicated participants were less likely to endorse the “chemical imbalance” theory postintervention; conversely, participants were more likely to seek therapy and/or counseling postintervention.