The Impact of Autonomy and Attitudes on Help-Seeking Intentions for Self-Injury

Pumpa, Megan (2013). The Impact of Autonomy and Attitudes on Help-Seeking Intentions for Self-Injury Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Pumpa, Megan
Thesis Title The Impact of Autonomy and Attitudes on Help-Seeking Intentions for Self-Injury
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013-10-09
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Graham Martin
Total pages 83
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Self-injury is a serious and complex issue, poorly understood within the scientific and general community. Many people struggling with self-injury will not receive any help. This study examined the relationships between autonomy, attitudes, and help-seeking for selfinjury in a community sample. The aim was to identify barriers preventing self-injurers from seeking help. Two hundred and twenty University of Queensland students and adults from the community completed an anonymous online questionnaire measuring selfinjurious behaviour and other mental health related problems, attitudes toward seeking professional mental health help, autonomy, and intentions to seek help for self-injury and other mental health problems. Results revealed more positive attitudes were associated with greater intentions to seek help, while perceiving higher autonomy was associated with lower intentions to seek help. Attitudes fully mediated the negative relationship between autonomy and willingness to seek help for self-injury. Additionally, this model maintained partial mediation for willingness to seek help for other mental health problems, beyond self-injury. Current self-injurers expressed more negative attitudes toward help-seeking than past self-injurers and those with no history of self-injury. Similarly, current selfinjurers reported being less likely to seek help from anyone compared to both other groups. These findings inform our understanding of why many self-injurers do not seek help for their problems. More importantly, the findings provide evidence for interventions targeting negative attitudes toward seeking professional help, in order to increase help-seeking among self-injurers who would otherwise not receive any treatment.
Keyword autonomy
help-seeking intentions

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Created: Fri, 04 Jul 2014, 08:58:28 EST by Danico Jones on behalf of School of Psychology