Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Alyssa O'Brien

Second Advisor

Samantha Arnold


This study aims to understand the confidence students in future healthcare oriented majors feel in regards to treating or interacting with individuals with mental health conditions. It also aims to understand the effect of students' in-major education, outside-major education, and lived experience on this confidence level. Students within the College of Health and Human Services at UNH were the participants who completed a short Qualtrics survey online. The survey collected data from Likert scales and short-answer questions. The Likert scales were then analyzed with a regression and descriptive statistics, while the short-answer questions were analyzed with thematic analysis. The study found that students are relatively confident in treating or interacting with those who have mental health conditions. Their confidence was significant for both in-major courses and lived experience, while their outside-major courses yielded an insignificant effect on their confidence. The short-answer questions provided data that with this confidence, students still desired for more information on how to treat those with mental health conditions. This study also resulted in many questions for future students, including addressing what gives the students this confidence and if this confidence correlates to a future reduction in stigma during their entire career path. The data gathered from this study can be used for educators within the College of Health and Human Services to continue to include mental health education in their courses. Mental health in our society is a growing issue and continuous studies need to be conducted on our future healthcare professionals in order to ensure they are ready to confidently treat these individuals.