Interpersonal variables and help-seeking among emerging adults



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Suicide is the second leading cause of death among emerging adults in the United States. Few individuals seek help for their psychological distress, especially suicidal ideation, depression, and anxiety. Emerging adults prefer informal help-sources rather than formal sources (i.e., professional); however, social support promotes formal help-seeking when such support systems encourage the utilization of mental health services. The purpose of this thesis was to examine correlates of help-seeking among emerging adults, especially among informal help-sources. The aims of this study were first, to examine if the relationship between perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, gender, and help-seeking in an emerging adult sample replicate previous findings. Simple linear regression models examined the hypotheses pertaining to perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, social support, and help-seeking. An independent samples t-test examined the relationship between gender differences and help-seeking. Finally, a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) explored the relationship between preference for help-source modality; including mental health symptoms as a covariate. Perceived Burdensomeness was negatively associated with help-seeking, while social support was positively associated with help-seeking. The MANOVA delineated that text and in-person support were the most preferred help- source modalities. The results of this study intend to inform text messaging intervention routes that aim to alleviate acute crisis states, especially when in-person support is not viable.



Perceived Burdensomeness, Thwarted Belongingness, Social Support, Suicidal Ideation, Suicide Interventions, Help-seeking Behavior