Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
2018 Faye E LaFond
Men are much less likely to seek out mental health care services than women, despite having equally significant mental health related needs. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of the construction and delivery of intervention messages designed to encourage men to seek help for mental health concerns. 225 men in the United States were randomly assigned to one of 4 vignette conditions featuring a pro-mental health help seeking message, varying based on the gender of the sender of the message (male vs. female) and based on the inclusion of information concerning misconceptions about therapy (inclusion vs. exclusion of information). A male message sender and a message that included information about misconceptions regarding therapy were both predicted to contribute to higher mental health help seeking intentions for men, and particularly so for men who conform strongly to masculine gender role norms. These hypotheses were not supported; however, the results replicated prior findings indicating that men who conform strongly to masculine gender role norms are less open to seeking help for mental health concerns. Additionally, men’s conformity to the specific masculine norms of self-reliance and violence both at least partially moderated the impact of message sender gender upon help seeking intentions. Further research should continue to investigate the potential effects of message sender gender and message content on men’s help seeking intentions by presenting the pro-help seeking message in person and by presenting a message that more explicitly challenges typical masculine attitudes about mental health care.
LaFond, Faye, "Men's Receptivity to Mental Health Help Seeking Intervention Messages: The Effects of Message Sender Gender and Message Content" (2018). Scripps Senior Theses. 1178.