Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Buys, David R.

Committee Member

Pylate, Leah P.

Committee Member

Seitz, Holli

Committee Member

Robertson, Mary Nelson

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion


COVID-19 presented unique challenges for rural Mississippi communities including impacts on the mental health of rural individuals. This research study aimed to identify opportunities for mental health interventions to provide health promotion professionals with quantitative data on the accessibility and the likelihood of engagement with mental health-fostering behaviors. A secondary objective of this research was to categorize these behaviors within the constructs of the Social Ecological Model. Demographics for rural Mississippi communities were collected and displayed, and using multivariate analyses including Spearman’s correlation and a Mann-Whitney U test the correlation between mental health fostering behaviors and demographic factors was obtained. Results showed differences in self-reported accessibility and likelihood of engagement when broken down by race, age, and gender.