Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services


For at least the past couple of decades, men have utilized help-seeking services less than women. Sex-difference research demonstrates that men and women utilize help-seeking at different rates; men use it less often. Gender-role socialization research demonstrates that gender role conflict plays a role in keeping men from attending therapy. None of the research compares men who are in therapy with men who have never been in therapy. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the similarities and differences between men who have sought therapy and those who have not sought therapy.

The main hypothesis is that gender role conflict, loneliness, depression, attitudes towards help seeking, and psychological symptoms will all be significant variables in predicting membership into the group of men who have sought therapy and those who have not sought therapy. The following secondary hypotheses are also examined in the current study. In comparison to men not in therapy: (a) Men in therapy will have lower scores on gender role conflict (as measured by GRCS), (b) Men in therapy will have higher depression scores (as measured by CES-D), (c) Men in therapy will have more favorable attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help (as measured by ASPPH), (d) Men in therapy will have higher levels of symptom distress (as measured by the HSC), (e) Men in therapy will be more lonely (as measured by the UCLA), and (f) that collapsed across both therapy and non-therapy groups, the following variables will all be significantly related to attitudes towards seeking psychological help and some of these variables will account for unique variance in attitudes towards help seeking: gender role conflict, depression, symptoms endorsed, and loneliness.

The sample included 44 men who had sought therapy and 44 men who had not sought therapy. All of the men completed the instruments via an internet survey. The results indicated that group membership could be significantly predicted. The results indicated that loneliness and attitudes towards help-seeking were the only two predictors that significantly contributed to the model. Results from secondary hypotheses indicated that men who had sought therapy had higher levels of depression, loneliness, psychological symptoms, and more positive attitudes about seeking professional psychological help. The results also indicated that men who had sought therapy did not differ on their levels of gender role conflict when compared to men who had not sought therapy. It was also found that as gender role conflict increased, attitudes towards seeking help decreased. The results are further discussed and clinical and research implications are explored. Future research should continue to use men who have sought therapy, to more clearly understand what leads men to seek help.

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