Date of Award

1-1-2003

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Public Management

First Advisor

Dr Simone Pettigrew

Abstract

This study explored the possible barriers encountered by adolescents in developing and achieving positive mental health. Male adolescents in Perth, Western Australia were consulted in an attempt to provide insight into the motivating and inhibiting factors influencing help-seeking as a coping strategy. Barriers to seeking help for mental health problems were investigated through the inductive process of grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) to obtain a more detailed understanding of help-seeking than previous studies have provided; The study found that the coping responses most frequently enacted by the adolescent males sampled included avoidance, diversion, and private resolution. Help-seeking was far less frequently enacted, and was suggested to be the course of last resort. The primary barrier to help-seeking was found to be the interviewees' fear of feeling and appearing incompetent in successfully enacting the traditional male role. This primary barrier appeared to stem from the interviewees' socialised perceptions of the ideal male, their perceptions of available help-sources, and their perceptions of those with mental ill-health. These factors thus constitute possible barriers faced by male adolescents in achieving positive mental health and provide insights into key areas that need to be addressed in social marketing strategies. In addition, practical information and recommendations are directed towards adolescents, parents, and educators.

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