Psychotherapy utilization by United States college students.

Publication date: Jul 12, 2023

Objective: We studied current psychotherapy utilization rates among college students with mental health problems and identified characteristics associated with differential utilization. Participants: Nationwide online survey of students screening positive for at least one clinical mental health problem (N = 18,435). Methods: Rates and correlates of psychotherapy utilization were analyzed descriptively and with logistic regression. Results: Sample-wide, 19% reported receiving psychotherapy. Being male (vs. female), being Asian, Black or African American, or Multiracial (vs. White), greater financial difficulty, lower parent education, lower year in school, and attending a public (vs. private) institution were associated with lower utilization. Holding a gender minority (vs. female) identity and holding a sexual minority (vs. heterosexual) identity were associated with higher utilization. Utilization fell from Fall 2019 to Spring 2020, early during the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequently rebounded. Conclusions: This study estimates current psychotherapy utilization among students with mental health problems and identifies possibly underserved populations.

Concepts Keywords
African Disparities
College help-seeking
Psychotherapy mental health
Underserved psychotherapy
public health


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic

Original Article

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