Investigating the impact of masculinity on the relationship between anxiety specific mental health literacy and mental health help-seeking in adolescent males

Laura H. Clark, Jennifer L. Hudson*, Ronald M. Rapee, Katrina L. Grasby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: 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. Methods: 1732 adolescent males (aged 12–18 years) participated online whilst at school. Results: 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. Limitations: The study had a correlational research design and used self-report measures. Conclusions: Mental health initiatives which consider the impact of masculinity and gender stereotypes have the potential to significantly improve help-seeking in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102292
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume76
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • help-seeking
  • mental health literacy
  • masculinity
  • adolescents
  • anxiety

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