Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Emese Vitalis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kathleen Sexton-Radek, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

William J. Filstead, Ph.D.


As the population ages, the prevalence rates of dementia continue to increase. Without a cure or promising treatment for dementia, the best course of lowering the prevalence rates of dementia is through preventative measures. Through an electronic survey, the study utilized the MCLHB-DRR scale to determine whether (1) gender, age, educational background, and socioeconomic status will impact the motivational factors to change lifestyle and health behaviors to reduce the risk of developing dementia and (2) direct experiences with individuals that have a dementia diagnosis are likely to impact one's motivational factors to change lifestyle and health behaviors to reduce the risk of developing dementia. In the final sample of 466, the analysis revealed several statistically significant relationships between demographic information and the MCLHB-DRR scale. Specifically, (1) males report greater susceptibility to dementia than females, while females perceive more significant barriers to change; (2) adults over the age of 40 perceive greater susceptibility to developing dementia, middle-aged adults perceive greater severity of dementia, older adults have the lowest barriers to change and younger adults have the lowest general health motivation; (3) those with a middle-range annual household income have greater perceived susceptibility and perceive more barriers to change; (4) those with a family history of dementia perceive greater susceptibility, severity, and cues to action; (5) individuals that have experience as a caregiver for someone with dementia perceived greater susceptibility and cues to action. The results imply significant demographic information that can be beneficial for clinicians to be aware of in order to educate patients on dementia prevention. Also, those with experiences of dementia show greater cues to action and have an increase in motivation for making changes to reduce the risk of developing dementia.