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J Adv Nurs. 2014 Nov;70(11):2577-87. doi: 10.1111/jan.12423. Epub 2014 Apr 9.

Factors that influence young people's mental health help-seeking behaviour: a study based on the Health Belief Model.

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1
The School of Management, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Abstract

AIM:

To identify key predictors and moderators of mental health 'help-seeking behavior' in adolescents.

BACKGROUND:

Mental illness is highly prevalent in adolescents and young adults; however, individuals in this demographic group are among the least likely to seek help for such illnesses. Very little quantitative research has examined predictors of help-seeking behaviour in this demographic group.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional design was used.

METHODS:

A group of 180 volunteers between the ages of 17-25 completed a survey designed to measure hypothesized predictors and moderators of help-seeking behaviour. Predictors included a range of health beliefs, personality traits and attitudes. Data were collected in August 2010 and were analysed using two standard and three hierarchical multiple regression analyses.

FINDINGS:

The standard multiple regression analyses revealed that extraversion, perceived benefits of seeking help, perceived barriers to seeking help and social support were direct predictors of help-seeking behaviour. Tests of moderated relationships (using hierarchical multiple regression analyses) indicated that perceived benefits were more important than barriers in predicting help-seeking behaviour. In addition, perceived susceptibility did not predict help-seeking behaviour unless individuals were health conscious to begin with or they believed that they would benefit from help.

CONCLUSION:

A range of personality traits, attitudes and health beliefs can predict help-seeking behaviour for mental health problems in adolescents. The variable 'Perceived Benefits' is of particular importance as it is: (1) a strong and robust predictor of help-seeking behaviour; and (2) a factor that can theoretically be modified based on health promotion programmes.

KEYWORDS:

adolescent health; health promotion; health psychology; mental health; nursing; quantitative approaches

PMID:
24720449
DOI:
10.1111/jan.12423
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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