Date of Award

May 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Mike R Allen

Committee Members

Erin K Ruppel, Xiaoxia Cao


chatbot adoption, mental health promotion, response efficacy, self-efficacy, uses and gratification (U&G), Woebot


This study examines factors that influence people’s decision to adopt a self-care therapy chatbot utilizing the uses and gratification theory, self-efficacy, and response efficacy frameworks. Existing literature has shown a large gap between supply and demand of mental health services as well as major barriers that prevent people from seeking services. Therapy chatbots offer the potential to address the gap and the barriers. This research used Woebot, a widely used and clinical evaluated therapy bot, and examined the influence of 6 uses and obtained gratification variables, two self-efficacy scales, and response efficacy on intentions of use. Quantitative analysis of the results (N = 144) found functional motivations, obtained self-reliance gratifications, and usability gratifications as the strongest predictors of usage intentions. These results offer significant theoretical and practical implications in the technology and healthcare disciplines.