SAGE Journal Articles

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SAGE Journal User Guide

Article 1:

Williams, D. J. (2013). Help-seeking among Jamaican adolescents: an examination of individual determinants of psychological help-seeking attitudes. Journal of Black Psychology, 0095798413488940.


Underutilization of mental health resources is a well-documented problem. Little is known about the help-seeking attitudes of Jamaican adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine predictors of psychological help-seeking attitudes among Jamaican adolescents (N = 339). The individual determinants of health service utilization model suggests that several factors contribute to health care attitudes and utilization, including illness factors (beliefs about etiology of mental health issues and level of somatization),predisposing factors (gender, age, and opinions about mental illness), and enabling factors (socioeconomic status and geographical location). Data were analyzed using hierarchical multiple regression. Results indicated that for this population, predisposing factors predict attitudes toward seeking professional mental health care. Specifically, increased age, decreased authoritarian beliefs, and increased benevolence predicted more positive attitudes toward seeking psychological help. After controlling for gender, these predisposing factors accounted for 14.6% of the variance. Interestingly, neither illness factors nor enabling factors predicted help-seeking attitudes. Practical implications for public health policy, education, and stigma reduction programs are discussed.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Discuss which predisposing factors are most pertinent or interesting to you in predicting help-seeking behavior.
  2. In what ways does this population differ in cultural or societal context from clients you have or will be working with in the future?
  3. How may stigma-reduction be an important role for future development?

Article 2:

Collins, P., & Barker, C. (2009). Psychological help-seeking in homeless adolescents. International Journal of Social Psychiatry55(4), 372-384.


Background: Homeless young people in the UK are a vulnerable group: their levels of psychological problems, physical ill health and violent victimization exceed those of their housed counterparts. Aims: This qualitative study aimed to examine homeless young people’s views about seeking psychological help for their problems. Method: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 16 homeless young people at an emergency hostel. A thematic analysis and an analysis of the participants’ narratives were undertaken. Results: A sense of hurt and anger at the perceived betrayal by their families and society made many participants reluctant to seek help and to trust help offered by others, and accordingly they placed a high value on self-sufficiency. Many said that they would, however, seek help from people whom they perceived to be genuine, caring, trustworthy, empathic and capable of containing their distress. Conclusion: Mental health professionals providing clinical services for this underserved population need to be aware of the importance of rejection and abandonment issues, along with the consequent hurt, anger and mistrust.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Discuss the phenomenon of homelessness and its implications for providing access to mental health services.
  2. Briefly describe how you may create and implement an outreach activity targeted to increasing mental health help-seeking behaviors of homeless adolescents.
  3. How may you utilize a social justice orientation to help a client deal with feelings of anger and betrayal?