Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Andrew Guilfoyle

Abstract

Using Heidegger's (1962) hermeneutic phenomenology informed by van Manen (1984) and Gadamer (1975), this qualitative inquiry has been an exploration, analysis and interpretation of the lived experiences of the help-seeking phenomenon in young men aged 25 to 30 years. A purposive sample of thirteen young men, 25 to 30 years of age, living in urban areas of Perth, were interviewed using in-depth, semi-structured interviews. The ultimate aim of this study was to discover meaning and enhance the understanding of the essential experiences that influence help-seeking behaviours of these young men. The findings of this inquiry indicate a sophisticated emotional discourse around help-seeking and mental health issues. It also exposes the tensions and complex interplay between the masculinity stereotype, problem type and available sources of help, stigma, and the strong societal expectations of competency that these young men experience. In many areas of help-seeking behaviours, there was a structural division that separated this group of young men into those willing to engage in early professional support, the "early seekers", and those who would delay formal help until crisis point, the "delayed seekers". Contrary to the literature, these factors were independent of the young men's emotional competence and literacy. Overall, the study findings showed that there were significant, complex and unique factors influencing their help-seeking experiences. Future research could explore and seek to confirm the results of this study for delayed seekers in a broader age bracket.

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