Suicidal ideation and help-negation: Not just hopelessness or prior help

  • Deane F
  • Wilson C
  • Ciarrochi J
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Few distressed young people seek professional psychological help and little is known about what sources of help young people seek for different problems. In suicidal youth, the process of help-negation may exacerbate poor help-seeking. Three hundred and two undergraduate university students completed a questionnaire measuring suicidal ideation, hopelessness, prior help-seeking experience, and help-seeking intentions. Participants indicated they would seek help from different sources of help for different types of problems, but friends consistently were rated as the most likely source of help. Help-negation was suggested by higher levels of suicidal ideation being associated with lower help-seeking intentions. However, the negative suicidal ideation/help-seeking-intentions relationship was not explained by hopelessness or prior help-seeking. Help-negation appears to involve more than just negative expectations regarding the future. The discussion proposes social problem-solving orientation as one of a number of potential explanatory variables.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Help-negation
  • Help-seeking
  • Hopelessness
  • Prior help
  • Suicidal ideation

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