Formal Help-Seeking Behavior of Adolescents Identifying Themselves as Having Mental Health Problems

STEPHEN M. SAUNDERS, MICHAEL D. RESNICK, HARRY M. HOBERMAN, ROBERT WILLIAM BLUM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In response to evidence of poorly met mental health needs, a study of formal help-seeking behavior of adolescents was conducted. Responses (n = 17,193) to a school-based survey were examined. Overall, 24.9% identified themselves as having a serious problem. Students who felt they “needed professional help” were contrasted to those who did not. Among students who felt they needed help, those who did not seek it were contrasted to those who did. Deciding professional help was needed was most strongly associated with history of abuse, physical health, suicidal ideation, and gender. Obtaining help was associated with suicidal ideation, informal help-seeking behavior, the interaction between race and socioeconomic status, parental marital status, and having a checkup within the previous year. This study establishes that different factors influence adolescents' identifying a need and actually obtaining help.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-728
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • adolescence
  • help-seeking
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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