Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Psychology, Clinical-Community

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Steve Bruce, Ph.D.


Steve Bruce, Ph.D.

Ann Steffen, Ph.D.

Mike Griffin, Ph.D.

Shawn O’Connor, Ph.D.


Despite high estimated prevalence rates of PTSD, depression, and alcohol use disorder, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans exhibit relatively low rates of engagement in mental health treatment. Research shows that OEF/OIF veterans’ treatment-seeking is affected by attitudes towards mental illness and meant health treatment, logistical barriers to care, and severity of illness, thus providing support for Andersen’s proposed model of health service utilization. Previous literature has suggested that telemental health (TMH) has the potential to address some of the factors that make treatment-seeking challenging for OEF/OIF veterans. However, little is known about the degree to which these individuals are open to TMH. This study aimed to enhance our understanding of the factors that influence OEF/OIF veterans’ treatment-seeking and to determine how these individuals view TMH in comparison to traditional face-to-face (FTF) treatment. A sample of 422 OEF/OIF veterans provided information about stigma towards mental illness, attitudes towards mental health treatment, preferences for mental health treatment, logistical barriers to care, and mental illness symptomatology. Moreover, they stated their preference between FTF treatment and TMH. Results revealed a robust preference for FTF treatment across the sample. No differences emerged between veterans preferring FTF treatment and those preferring TMH treatment across the whole sample. Notably, women veterans preferring TMH were more skeptical of treatment, had more barriers to care, and had more severe clinical symptoms. Findings indicate a clear preference for FTF treatment among OEF/OIF veterans, although some do perceive TMH as addressing stigma-related and logistical barriers to treatment.