Effects of psychoeducation for depression on help-seeking willingness: Biological attribution versus destigmatization

Der Y. Han, Sue Huei Chen, Kwang K. Hwang, Hai Lang Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Existing literature shows that the level of biological attribution and stigma of depression influences willingness to seek help. However, no study has used experimental methods to explore the question whether increasing biological attribution and decreasing blameworthy attitude towards depression will enhance willingness to seek help. In so doing, 299 college students were randomly assigned to biological, destigmatization, combined, and control groups. The measures included the Biological Attribution Scale, Psychological Blame Scale, and Help-Seeking Willingness Scale. The data were analyzed by a 2 × 2 ancova (with or without biological attribution education × with or without destigmatization education) on willingness to seek professional help which was assessed 2 weeks later, with adjusting for help-seeking willingness at baseline. Results showed that biological education had a significant main effect to elevate help-seeking willingness, but destigmatization education did not. In addition, no interaction effect existed between the two independent variables. The authors suggested that biological education makes people legitimize depression as a disease entity, so that it would be a practical approach to increase people's motivation to solve their emotional afflictions, especially in societies that emphasize emotional constraints. In contrast, although destigmatization information reduces people's negative appraisals to the depressed individuals, it does not go a step further to increase people's motivation to seek professional help. Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms of educational effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-668
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume60
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attribution
  • Depression
  • Help-seeking behavior
  • Psychoeducation
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neurology

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