Labels, Gender-Role Conflict, Stigma, and Attitudes Toward Seeking Psychological Help in Men

Rachel Wahto, Joshua K Swift
American Journal of Men's Health 2016, 10 (3): 181-91
Despite a comparable need, research has indicated that on average men hold more negative attitudes toward psychological help seeking than women. Several researchers have suggested that the gender gap in service use and attitudes could be addressed through efforts to better market psychological services to men; however, a limited number of studies have tested this hypothesis. This study examined whether altering the labels for mental health providers (psychologist or counselor), settings (mental health clinic or counseling center), and treatments (problem or feeling focused) could result in less perceived stigma (social and self) by men. Participants, 165 male college students, were asked to read one of eight randomly assigned vignettes that described a man who was experiencing symptoms of depression and was considering seeking help. The vignettes differed in the labels that were used to describe the help that was being considered. Participants then completed measures assessing the stigma (self and social) associated with the treatment, and their preexisting experience of gender-role conflict and attitudes toward psychological help seeking. In summary, perceived stigma did not depend on the type of label that was used; however, 59% of the variance in attitudes was predicted by self-stigma (uniquely explaining 11%), gender-role conflict (uniquely explaining 10%), and social stigma (uniquely explaining 5%). Specifically, higher levels of gender-role conflict, social stigma, and self-stigma were associated with more negative attitudes toward psychological help seeking. Based on the demographics of the sample, these findings primarily have implications for Caucasian college-educated young adult men. Further limitations with the study and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"