An Investigation of Masculinity Attitudes, Gender, and Attitudes Toward Psychological Help-Seeking: BRIEF REPORT

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Abstract

Previous research on attitudes toward psychological help-seeking has shown that men are often reluctant to use psychological services. We investigated the relationships between subscription to traditional masculinity norms, gender, and help-seeking attitudes using the Inventory of Attitudes Toward Seeking Mental Health Services (IASMHS) and the Male Role Norms Inventory (MRNI-R, which measures the extent to which one believes that men should think and behave according to traditional male norms) in a sample of 124 participants (51 females; 73 males). Men's IASMHS scores were lower (i.e., less favorable attitudes to help-seeking) than women's, whereas men scored higher on the MRNI-R (i.e., more positive attitudes to traditional male norms). A regression analysis revealed that men's MRNI-R scores predicted their IASMHS scores; older participants scored higher on the IASMHS; and the effect of gender on the IASMHS was eliminated when MRNI-R scores were held constant. Our findings support the claim that men's masculinity ideals are a significant barrier to their psychological help-seeking.

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