Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work

First Advisor's Name

Mark Macgowan

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Florence Keane

Third Advisor's Name

Frank Dillon

Fourth Advisor's Name

Barbara Thomlison


Substance use, Substance use treatment, Gender differences, Unmet treatment need, Secondary data analysis

Date of Defense



Purpose: Most individuals do not perceive a need for substance use treatment despite meeting diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders and they are least likely to pursue treatment voluntarily. There are also those who perceive a need for treatment and yet do not pursue it. This study aimed to understand which factors increase the likelihood of perceiving a need for treatment for individuals who meet diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders in the hopes to better assist with more targeted efforts for gender-specific treatment recruitment and retention. Using Andersen and Newman’s (1973/2005) model of individual determinants of healthcare utilization, the central hypothesis of the study was that gender moderates the relationship between substance use problem severity and perceived treatment need, so that women with increasing problems due to their use of substances are more likely than men to perceive a need for treatment. Additional predisposing and enabling factors from Andersen and Newman’s (1973/2005) model were included in the study to understand their impact on perceived need. Method: The study was a secondary data analysis of the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) using logistic regression. The weighted sample consisted of a total 20,077,235 American household residents (The unweighted sample was 5,484 participants). Results of the logistic regression were verified using Relogit software for rare events logistic regression due to the rare event of perceived treatment need (King & Zeng, 2001a; 2001b). Results: The moderating effect of female gender was not found. Conversely, men were significantly more likely than women to perceive a need for treatment as substance use problem severity increased. The study also found that a number of factors such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, marital status, education, co-occurring mental health disorders, and prior treatment history differently impacted the likelihood of perceiving a need for treatment among men and women. Conclusion: Perceived treatment need among individuals who meet criteria for substance use disorders is rare, but identifying factors associated with an increased likelihood of perceiving need for treatment can help the development of gender-appropriate outreach and recruitment for social work treatment, and public health messages.



Included in

Social Work Commons



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