Attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help among Jamaican adolescents

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Neena Malik, Committee Chair


This study examines the influence of several variables including gender, age, socioeconomic status, opinions about mental illness, and geographical location on Jamaican adolescents' (N = 339) psychological help-seeking attitudes. Results from a structural equation model indicate that decreased authoritarian and socially restrictive beliefs and increased benevolence predicted more positive attitudes toward seeking psychological help. Increased age and being female also predicted more positive attitudes toward seeking psychological help. This study also presents Jamaican adolescents' preferential sources of help for psychological problems. Results indicate that regardless of disorder, Jamaican adolescent were likely to first turn to friends and family for help. In addition, faith healers, teachers and guidance counselors were consistently identified as the last source of help among this population. Finally, a comparison of Jamaican psychological help-seeking attitudes revealed that Jamaicans were similar to other populations using the same measure. Implications of the results for community public health, education, and stigma reduction programs are discussed.


Psychology, Social; Psychology, Clinical

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