Serial indirect effects of psychosocial causal beliefs and stigma on help-seeking preferences for depression

I. Chuan Tsai, Yu Chen Kao, Yin Ju Lien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Public stigma is one of barriers for help-seeking of people with depression, which can be predicted by psychosocial causal beliefs. The present study aimed to explore how psychosocial causal beliefs, stereotypes, and emotional reactions could affect professional help-seeking preferences. A representative community-based sample of Taiwanese adults aged 20–65 (n = 800) was recruited by a random-digit-dialing computer-assisted telephone interviewing system. Participants were asked to describe their psychosocial causal beliefs, stereotypes, emotional reactions, and professional help-seeking preferences for a person with depression described in a case vignette. Serial mediation analyses were conducted to test the direct and indirect effects of psychosocial causal beliefs on professional help-seeking preferences. Psychosocial causal beliefs were positively associated with perceived dependency, which resulted in stronger pity and, in turn, increased help-seeking preferences for mental health professionals. Psychosocial causal beliefs were positively associated with perceived dependency, which resulted in stronger fear and, in turn, increased help-seeking preferences for other medical professionals (i.e., general practitioner, and Chinese medical doctor). This study indicated that reducing negative emotions such as fear and increasing pity were likely to be useful in promoting public preferences to seek help from mental health professionals. Understanding the complex associations between causal beliefs, stereotypes, emotional reactions, and help-seeking preferences might enable further work in designing evidence-based interventions for depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13637-13647
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Psychology
Volume42
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jun

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Health service
  • Public mental health
  • Stigma
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

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