Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Erendira Lopez-garcia (Committee Member), Robert Rando (Committee Member), Julie Williams (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


There is a gap in the current literature concerning the study of university students with mental illness. Particularly, very few qualitative studies have been conducted in which interviews with university students with mental illness have yielded knowledge about the population's experiences and needs. The present study, employing a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach, was designed to promote a more accurate perception of the lives of university students with mental illness by allowing the voices of members of this group to be heard. Eight matriculating university students who self-identified with mental illness participated in this exploratory PAR initiative. The study involved open-ended questioning of participants through mixed methods including a demographics sheet, self-administered questionnaire, and focus group interviews. Results reflected numerous salient themes based on both written and verbal interactions with participants. For instance, potential barriers to success and suggestions for ways to best serve university students with mental illness were revealed. Also, mental health stigma and disability issues were addressed. Implications for future research and action are discussed.

Page Count


Department or Program

School of Professional Psychology

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Psychology Commons