Seeking help from everyone and no-one: Conceptualising the online help-seeking process among adolescent males

Paul Best, Elena Gil-Rodriguez, Roger Manktelow, Brian J. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
378 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Online help-seeking is an emerging trend within the 21st century. Yet despite some movement towards developing online services, little is known about how young people locate, access and receive support online. This study aims to conceptualise the process of online help-seeking among adolescent males. Modified photo-elicitation techniques were employed within eight semi-structured focus group sessions with adolescent males aged 14 – 15 years (n= 56) across seven schools in Northern Ireland. Thematic analyses was conducted within an ontological framework of critical realism and an epistemological framework of contextualism. Informal online help-seeking pathways increased opportunity for social support and reduced stigma but also included loss of control and reduced anonymity. Formal pathways offered increased anonymity but concerns were raised regarding participants’ ability to locate and appraise the quality of information online. A conceptual model of online help-seeking has been developed to highlight the key help seeking pathways taken by adolescent males.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1077
JournalQualitative Health Research
Volume26
Issue number8
Early online date12 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • mental health and illness; health behavior; men’s health, health seeking; internet

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