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Associations between Components of Masculinity and Attitudes towards Psychological Help-seeking

1 May 2014


Men report engaging in over 30 behaviors associated with increases in disease, injury, and death as well as poorer mental health outcomes. Results show that men who internalize and endorse traditional masculine stereotypes, roles, and norms to a greater degree (e.g., stoicism, strength, dominance) report more problem behaviors and less preventive health behaviors. These findings have led psychologists to examine the influence of gender roles and norms on a variety of social and behavioral outcomes related to men’s psychological health. The current study seeks to examine whether specific dimensions of masculinity are associated with psychological help-seeking with data collected from 385 men between the ages of 18 and 25. Consistent with previous research, higher scores on masculinity overall, as well as the dimensions of self-reliance and emotional control, were all associated with more negative attitudes towards psychotherapy. Results also extended previous research by examining unique associations between specific masculine norms and certain aspects of psychological help-seeking. These findings have implications for developing programs and creating alternative approaches aimed at decreasing barriers that exist for men to engage in psychotherapy.


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