Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Emerging adulthood is a developmental stage involving many changes and transitions (Arnett, 2004). The instability during this time can cause significant distress, making this a period of increased vulnerability for the development of mental illness (Kessler et al., 2007). The rise in the incidence of mental illness on college campuses has caused an increased demand for mental health services (Kadison & Digeronimo, 2004). Unfortunately, college students face many barriers to treatment, including self-stigma (Eisenberg, et al. 2009). Honest, Open, Proud for college students (HOP-C) is a peer-led group-based intervention designed to reduce self- stigma in college students living with mental illness. Using a serial mediation model, the present study investigated outcomes and mechanisms of the HOP-C intervention using data from a multi-site study across three college campuses. Results indicate that HOP-C does not reduce symptoms of depression or anxiety and does not increase institutional attachment to one's college or university. However, mediation analyses reveal that higher satisfaction with college peers predicts stronger institutional attachment, and stronger institutional attachment predicts fewer depression symptoms. Clinical and policy implications of these results, as well as future directions for research on the HOP-C intervention, are discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.