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Help seeking of adolescents when faced with a psychological problem

This thesis explored the help seeking of adolescents. In particular it focused on who adolescents seek help from for particular problems, the relationship between the options they selected, gender, previous help seeking and psychological distress, their experiences of seeking help for themselves, providing advice to friends and their opinions of help seeking for adolescents. One hundred and forty three adolescents between the ages of 15 and 18 who were attending two high schools in Hamilton, New Zealand, completed a Help Seeking questionnaire and the Youth Outcomes Questionnaire-30.2 (YOQ-30.2). Seven participants completed a semi structured interview focusing on their experience of seeking help. The results indicated that friends followed by parents were the help sources that were endorsed most frequently overall. Informal sources of help were selected more often than formal options. Of particular interest was the frequency with which ‘no one’ was selected as a first choice option. Males’ YOQ-30.2 total scores were significantly higher compared to females. Females were significantly more likely to have sought professional help in the past. Significant relationships were found between the help seeking options selected for the respective questions and gender and previous help seeking from a professional. Key themes that emerged from the semi structured interviews included increasing awareness of help options, the helpfulness, trustworthiness and friendliness of help sources, closeness of the relationship, what adolescents have heard about the help source, and the reaction of the help source when being informed about the young person’s difficulties. Males appeared to be more likely to encourage their friends to seek professional help and to feel confident in providing help to a peer. The implications of these findings were discussed in relation to the current literature.
Type of thesis
de Bruin, M. (2011). Help seeking of adolescents when faced with a psychological problem (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5338
University of Waikato
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