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Correlates of self-reported help-seeking among adolescents Muller, Jennifer R.

Abstract

The present study examined demographic and psychological correlates of help-seeking behavior in a sample of 220 (111 males, 109 females) adolescents, ranging in age from 12 to 19 years (mean age = 15.0 years). Adolescents were administered measures of self-worth, self-consciousness, and locus of control. Adolescents were also asked to report whether or not they had sought help from their mothers, fathers, friends, and professionals for assistance with emotional problems during the past year. Results revealed that, overall, females sought more help than males from mothers, friends, and professionals. Older adolescents sought more help than younger adolescents from friends and professionals. A series of discriminant function analyses were conducted in order to determine the extent to which each of the demographic and psychological variables significantly discriminated between those adolescents who sought help (help-seekers) and those adolescents who did not (nonseekers). Reliable differences were found to significantly discriminate between the demographic and psychological predictors of seeking help for each helping resource. Self-worth was found to be significant in predicting seeking help from friends and professionals. Self-consciousness was found to significantly predict seeking help from father, friends, and professionals. Additionally, locus of control was a significant predictor of seeking help from mother, father and friends. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for mental health intervention during adolescence.

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