Poor mental health literacy and greater alignment with norms of hegemonic masculinity are established barriers to mental health help-seeking in men. However, little is known about how these variables influence adolescent male help-seeking and in particular, help-seeking for anxiety disorders. This study investigated the relationship between i) anxiety mental health literacy, ii) alignment with traditional masculinity norms and iii) help-seeking attitudes, intentions and behaviour in a sample of adolescent males.
1732 adolescent males (aged 12-18 years) participated online whilst at school.
Participant attitudes towards formal help-seeking, intentions to seek help from a family member and from an online source were found to predict professional help-seeking behaviour by the adolescent and/or by their parents on the adolescents’ behalf. In adolescents with a low or average personal alignment with norms of hegemonic masculinity, greater anxiety mental health literacy was positively associated with more favourable attitudes towards formal and informal help-seeking. However, this relationship was not found in adolescent males with a greater alignment with norms of hegemonic masculinity.
The study had a correlational research design and used self-report measures.
Mental health initiatives which consider the impact of masculinity and gender stereotypes have the potential to significantly improve help-seeking in this population.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.