The under-utilization of mental health services is salient in Japan, implying that those seeking psychological help can be inhibited through various reasons. One of the obstructive factors may be Sekentei, a Japanese concept referring to the need to conform to social norms and customs, and to avoid shame and maintain a respectable social appearance. On the other hand, it can be expected that Sekentei can be facilitative if significant others have positive views about seeking psychological help, and the individuals has high Sekentei concerns. The present research investigated the influence of Sekentei and the recommendation of significant others on help-seeking intention toward psychological services. We aimed at determining the effects of Sekentei and significant others, and their interaction effect, exploring the potential of facilitating help-seeking through Sekentei and suggestions from significant others. A questionnaire was distributed to 273 Japanese undergraduate students. Factor analysis showed that Help-Seeking Intention was composed of the subscales of Help Needs, and Seeking Help without Hesitation. Sekentei negatively influenced Seeking Help without Hesitation, while suggestions from significant others positively influenced Help Needs. Furthermore, the two-way interaction effect of Sekentei × suggestions from significant others on Seeking Help without Hesitation was significant. These results indicated that: 1) high concern about Sekentei leads to hesitation toward help seeking; 2) suggestions from significant others facilitate recognition of need for help; 3) suggestions from significant others can moderate the negative effect of Sekentei on help seeking intention. This research determined the influence of Sekentei and significant others on help-seeking toward psychological services, and a means to moderate the negative effect of Sekentei.
Yumiko Matsumoto, Nagoya University, Japan
Kanai Atsuko, Nagoya University, Japan
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