Recent estimates suggest that one in five adults in the United States of America experience mental health issues each year; this is estimated to be approximately 51.5 million adults. Despite many individuals who might suffer from mental health issues, and perhaps be diagnosed with a mental health disorder, these same individuals may not seek psychological services when needed. The current study examined mental health stigma (i.e., public and self-stigma of mental health) and social-cognitive factors (i.e., attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived control) that might influence a person’s willingness to seek out psychological help. The Theory of Planned Behavior was used as a theoretical guide. The current study included 355 participants between the ages of 18 and 75. Results indicated that mental health stigma did not overall predict participants’ willingness to seek help; however, two of the social cognitive factors (subjective norms and perceived control) did predict willingness to seek help. We also analyzed these variables in relation to their order of effect. Findings suggest that public and self-stigma indirectly impacted the willingness to seek help through subjective norms and perceived control. This finding is important because it indicates that through this pathway, each of the variables does impact the willingness to seek help either directly or indirectly.
Juaneza, Bobbie and Whitaker, Whitney
"Mental Health Stigma and Social-Cognitive Factors Influence Behavioral Intentions to Seek Psychological Help,"
Academic Leadership Journal in Student Research: Vol. 6, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholars.fhsu.edu/aljsr/vol6/iss1/4