Dimensionality, Reliability, and Predictive Evidence of Validity for Three Help-Seeking Intention Instruments: ISCI, GHSQ, and MHSIS

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People’s intention to seek help from a mental health professional is thought to be the proximal cause of help-seeking behavior and thus is a dependent variable frequently measured by help-seeking researchers. Using a research design that accounted for actual future help-seeking behavior, the present study documented the dimensionality, internal consistency, and predictive evidence of validity of 3 intention instruments: the Intentions to Seek Counseling Inventory (ISCI), General Help Seeking Questionnaire (GHSQ), and Mental Help-Seeking Intention Scale (MHSIS). The sample was composed of 405 community-dwelling adults who self-identified as currently experiencing a mental health concern. Results provided support for the ISCI’s 3-factor structure and the internal consistency of its 3 subscale scores. In contrast, the GHSQ did not demonstrate clear evidence of adequate measurement model fit or internal consistency in the present sample. Results also tentatively suggested that the 3-item MHSIS is a unidimensional instrument that produces an internally consistent total score with appropriate construct replicability. The ability of these instruments to predict who would seek help from a mental health professional in the next 3 months was also examined. The MHSIS demonstrated the strongest evidence of predictive validity (about 70% of participants were correctly classified), followed by the GHSQ and ISCI.

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