Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Joe Wyatt

Second Advisor

David Trumpower

Third Advisor

Marty Amerikaner


This study was designed to examine mental health professionals’ strength of belief in biological causation of several syndromes including ADHD, unipolar depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia and whether a three-hour educational program will alter their thinking. Findings suggest that pre-training, mental health professionals’ reported strength of belief regarding the etiology of many mental health disorders tends toward the biologically based. Also, this study demonstrated that attendance at a three hour training program is able to reduce the expressed acceptance of biological causation of such disorders. The social influences of pharmaceutical direct to consumer advertising and medical guild dominance, as well as empiricism, contributed significantly to prediction of strength of belief in biological causation. Of the three variables, empirical data had the greatest influence. These findings suggest that as mental health professionals’ are exposed to social influences that may be contributing to belief systems supporting biological causation, it is critical examination of empirical data said to support biological causation that contributes the most robust change in expressed belief.


Mental illness - Etiology.

Mental health counselors.