Adolescent Males' View on the Use of Mental Health Counseling Services

By Smith, Jeffrey M. | Adolescence, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview

Adolescent Males' View on the Use of Mental Health Counseling Services


Smith, Jeffrey M., Adolescence


Understanding the adolescent viewpoint on mental health counseling is important for theory development and service enhancement. The few studies that have been conducted help to illuminate the topic. In one study, a group of college males presented their viewpoints on perceived health needs, barriers to help-seeking, and the adoption of healthier lifestyles (Davies, McCrea, Frank, Dochnahl, Pickering, Harris, Zakrzewski, & Wilson, 2000). It was found that these college males knew they had health needs, yet took no action. Additionally, their socialization to be independent and to conceal vulnerability was cited as a major barrier. In other research, male and female college students were assessed regarding likelihood of seeking counseling, type of helper, type of problem, responsibility for problem solution, and type of counseling approach (Rule & Gandy, 1994). An important finding was that males in 1989 were less likely than those in 1976 to seek counseling for problems related to work or school The males seemed to have shifted toward a more do-it-yourself perspective.

In a study by Getsinger and Garfield (1976), male students reported that a counseling psychologist could be a source of help for emotional, familial, and sexual problems. The Davies et al. (2000) study suggested that college males misattributed the work of counselors. These males ascribed counselors' tasks to other helping professionals. They also identified restrictive emotional openness as a reason for not seeking help, and advanced the notion that seeking mental health counseling carried a more negative stigma than seeking medical help.

Miller (1989) suggested that since adolescents strive to develop their own identity, opinions, and values, some adolescent males may believe that seeking help is the antithesis of being independent. For some young men, even encouraging them to seek help may appear counterproductive to their goal of achieving independence (Rossi, 1992). Although these and the previously noted studies are enlightening, the adolescent male view on the counseling process has yet to fully emerge.

In a study that included adolescent males who reported feeling lonely and depressed, that their lives had no meaning, and that they felt unsure of themselves, only 10% reported employing the services of a psychotherapist (Jessor, Donovan, & Costa, 1991). The study attempted to unearth the adolescent perspective on some facets of help-seeking for emotional/psychological concerns, yet it did not specifically inquire about adolescents' viewpoints on the mental health counseling process.

The present study had this as its primary objective. It investigated the adolescent male view on mental health counseling.

METHOD

Participants

One hundred adolescent males from a Jesuit middle school and a Jesuit preparatory high school in a Midwestern city participated in the study. Both are all-male schools. The participants ranged in age from 12 to 18 years. The mean age was 15.4 years (SD = 1.29). Most (96%) were Caucasian (the remaining 4% were African American), 91% identified themselves as Catholic, and 94% were from upper-middleclass families with college-educated professional parents.

Instrument

The use of a derivative of the Freudian technique of "free/word association" (Brill, 1938) permitted the males to respond spontaneously regarding the subject of mental health counseling. The following five questions were used to guide the participants' responses: (1) Using a word or word phrase, identify the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear/read the term "counseling." (2) Using a word or word phrase, identify the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear/read the term "mental health counseling." (3) Have you ever used mental health counseling services? (4) Would you ever freely use mental health counseling services for personal, social, emotional, psychological, or spiritual concerns? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Adolescent Males' View on the Use of Mental Health Counseling Services
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.