Exploring attitudes, well-being, and help-seeking among women

Previous research has demonstrated that men who hold particualr attitudes, such as self-reliance and emotional silence, are less likely to have positive help-seeking attitudes and intentions (Wendt, & Shafer, 2015). This means they are less likely to seek formal (e.g. psychologist) or informal (e.g. friend) help when they are experiencing psychological distress, such as depression or stress. 

While this body of research examining the effect of attitudes on men's help-seeking intentions is well established, there has been limited research exploring if there is an association between these attitudes and help-seeking attitudes and intentions among women. With gender equality has come the blurring of gender lines and arguably less gendered attitudes. As such, women (like men) may also endorse these attitudes to a greater or lesser extent and they therefore may also be a barrier to help-seeking in females. Mental health prevention programs that target these types of attitudes (e.g., self-reliance) tend to focus exclusively on men. However, there may be value and efficiency in targeting both genders with this messaging if an association was also found in women. This could provide a more effective prevention and treatment methods for the general population who are not seeking help.  

The aim of this study therefore is to explore the association between certain attitudes (e.g., winning, emotional control, risk-taking, and importance of work) and help-seeking attitudes and intentions in women, and whether particular factors (e.g., work, culture and gender) impact the likelihood of a woman holding these attitudes. We are inviting the general Australian female population to participate in this important research, which will consist of a brief 20-minute online survey exploring these factors.