JOURNAL ARTICLE

Modeling stigma, help-seeking attitudes, and intentions to seek behavioral healthcare in a clinical military sample

Nathaniel G Wade, David L Vogel, Patrick Armistead-Jehle, Scott S Meit, Patrick J Heath, Haley A Strass
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal 2015, 38 (2): 135-41
25821982

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the relationship between public and self-stigma of seeking behavioral health services, and help-seeking attitudes and intent in a sample of active duty military personnel currently being assessed for traumatic brain injuries in a military health center. Although it has been suggested that many military personnel in need of care do not seek services due to concerns with stigma it is not fully clear what role different types of stigma play in the process.

METHOD: Using previously collected data from a clinical sample of 97 military personnel, we conducted path analyses to test the mediation effects of self-stigma on the relationship between public stigma and attitudes toward and intentions to seek behavioral health care.

RESULTS: In contrast to a model of military stigma but in line with research with civilian samples, results from this study indicate that self-stigma fully mediates the relationship between public stigma and help-seeking attitudes and intentions.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: These results indicate that programming aimed at increasing mental health care use in the military might best focus on reducing self-stigma associated with seeking mental health services.

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