SAGE Journal Articles

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SAGE Journal User Guide

Article 1:

Black, B. M., & Weisz, A. N. (2003). Dating violence help-seeking behaviors of African American middle schoolers. Violence Against Women9(2), 187-206.


This study examined the relationship of African American middle school youths’ help-seeking intentions related to dating violence with their levels of violent victimization and perpetration. When faced with the possibility of dating violence, youth expressed a willingness to seek assistance from adults. Girls victimized by more violence reported a greater willingness to turn to friends for help, in addition to parents, than girls victimized by less violence. Boys who perpetrated more violence reported a greater willingness to turn to friends, in addition to parents, than those boys who perpetrated less violence. Implications for developing culturally sensitive prevention programming are discussed.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Discuss factors which affect how likely an adolescent is to seek help for dating violence.
  2. How may a counselor utilize peer disclosure to promote professional help-seeking behavior?
  3. Describe the importance of culture and gender interactions in this study.

Article 2:

Mariu, K. R., Merry, S. N., Robinson, E. M., & Watson, P. D. (2011). Seeking professional help for mental health problems, among New Zealand secondary school students. Clinical child psychology and psychiatry, 1359104511404176.


Objective: Our aim was to investigate whether secondary school students with mental health problems sought help from general practitioners and to investigate whether mental illness type, socio-demographic variables, family, school and community factors were associated with seeking help.

Method: A randomly selected sample of 9699 secondary school students from across New Zealand participated in the Youth2000 Health and Wellbeing Survey. Data analysis included uni-variate and regression analyses.

Results: Having symptoms of anxiety (p<0.0001), depression (p<0.0001), and suicidal thoughts (p<0.0001) were associated with help seeking. However, 82%of students who had significant mental health problems had not sought help from a general practitioner. Rates of help seeking increased with age for girls and decreased with age for boys. Seeking help for mental health problems was also associated with living in a single parent family (p<0.0001), living in an over-crowded house (p=0.0006), and being well known by a teacher (p=0.0004).

Conclusions: The majority of New Zealand secondary school students with mental health problems do not obtain the help they need from general practitioners. Given the prevalence of mental health problems, it is important to find ways of identifying adolescents with difficulties and encouraging them to seek help.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Describe the role and importance of awareness in adolescent help-seeking behavior.
  2. Why do you believe females are more likely to seek help than males? Discuss substance use implications.
  3. Discuss the benefits and challenges of an Integrated Health Care model in relation to this study's findings.