Correlates of Help-Seeking Behaviour in Adolescents Experiencing a Recent Negative Life Event

Janie Houle, François Chagnon, Denis Lafortune, Réal Labelle, Katherine Belleville Paquette


This study examines the psychological factors associated with formal and informal help-seeking behaviour after a recent negative life event in adolescents 14-17 years old. A sample of 126 adolescents attending secondary schools completed the Life Events Questionnaire (Newcomb), the Beck Depression Inventory, the Temperament and Character Inventory (Cloninger) and the Impulsivity Scale (Barratt). The results indicate that informal help-seeking is more frequent than formal. The factors associated with seeking help from the informal network (friends, parents, siblings, relatives) after the life event were the female gender, living in an intact nuclear family, and reward dependence. Formal help seeking is associated with having sought help from the mother and cognitive impulsivity. Recommendations for increasing adolescents’ help-seeking behaviour are suggested.

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Canadian Journal of Family and Youth / Le Journal Canadien de Famille et de la Jeunesse
2008-2014 | ISSN 1718-9748