NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED521048
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 102
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-9979-2
Young Women's Perceptions of and Attitudes towards Mental Health and Mental Illness: A Qualitative Interview Study
McQuoid, Courtney
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Rochester
Late adolescents face a multitude of stressors in their daily lives and must find ways to weather this distress. The attitudes and beliefs late adolescents hold about seeking formal help when appropriate can influence their engagement in formal help seeking behaviors. Previous research suggests that adolescents' willingness to seek help for mental health concerns varies as a function of social support, with adolescents being more willing to seek help from informal than formal resources. This study explored late adolescent female perceptions of and attitudes towards mental health and mental illness as one possible factor in their avoidance of seeking formal help. To date, little research exists on late adolescent perceptions and attitudes towards mental health, mental illness, and formal help seeking behaviors that attempts to understand matters from the late adolescent's point of view. This study fills this apparent gap in the literature through the use of a qualitative interviewing method to explore in one localized setting how late adolescent females understand, perceive, and make meaning of mental health, mental illness, and formal help seeking. Individual interviews were conducted with ten 18-22 year old women, who were enrolled in a psychology course at one community college in the northeast. Results support earlier psychological research findings on adult avoidance factors towards seeking formal help, including social stigma, treatment fears, fear of emotion and fear of self-disclosure (Vogel, Wester & Larson 2007). However, the results from this study also identified two factors unique to late adolescent women: a more summative factor identified as anticipated utility versus risk and the existence of dissonance between perceptions held and action taken which was not fully admitted to consciousness. The implications of these findings suggest that mental health practitioners and other formal helping professionals may find it difficult to engage late adolescent women in services despite their increased familiarity with the language and practices of mental health intervention through its popularization in the media. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A