“I can cope”: Young men’s strengths and barriers to seeking help

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du Plessis, Karin, Hoiles, Lauren, Field, David, Corney, Tim and Napthine, Melanie (2011) “I can cope”: Young men’s strengths and barriers to seeking help. In: Apprentices: Young people in transition. Corney, Tim and du Plessis, Karin, eds. Incolink and Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies, Calton, VIC, pp. 51-66.


In order to successfully implement health and wellbeing programs, it is important to understand the help-seeking attitudes and behaviour of the end-users. Traditionally, men are more reluctant than women to seek help for physical and psychological problems. Young apprentices are potentially a vulnerable group as they experience a number of stressors (e.g., low wages) and are in an important transitional phase as new workers. The purpose of this qualitative project was to explore help-seeking attitudes and behaviours in a sample of young male apprentices (N = 62). Findings from 10 focus groups identify a number of key themes around young males’ strengths and barriers to seeking help. Notably, whilst young men are able to identify a number of sources of help, there is, in many instances, a reluctance to ask for help. This appears to be influenced by ideas around masculinity and the notion of self-reliance (“I can cope”). Additionally, there appears to be a predominance of female oriented helping services. Recommendations, including the future development of awareness programs focused on young workers in the building and construction industry, are discussed within the context of the study’s findings and the literature on help-seeking

Item type Book Section
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/25339
Official URL http://www.acys.info/books/other_books/apprentices...
ISBN 9780646551883
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Education
Keywords young male apprentices, mental health, help-seeking attitudes, behaviour, behavior, social network supports
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