Periodical Title

Journal of Adolescent and Family Health


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Many adolescents avoid seeking psychological help despite the increasing prevalence of mental disorders. The current study investigated whether distress and stigma exhibit differential relationships to decisions to seek online mental health information among a sample of predominantly racial/ethnic minority U.S. adolescents. In this investigation, 174 adolescents (Age: M = 15.90, SD = 0.85, Range = 14−19) completed assessments of help-seeking stigma, psychological distress, and a question asking if they would like to view a website with mental health information. Distress was a statistically significant predictor of decisions to seek online mental health information, but stigma was not. Severely distressed boys were more likely to seek online information than severely distressed girls. Evidence-based online resources may be particularly effective ways to support distressed adolescents.

Cover Page Footnote

Author Note Daniel G. Lannin, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Illinois State University; Jeremy B. Kanter, Ph.D., Department of Child and Family Studies, University of Tennessee at Knoxville; Luke Russell, Ph.D., Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Illinois State University; Leandra Parris, Ph.D., School of Education, College of William & Mary; Ani Yazedjian, Ph.D., Office of the Provost, Illinois State University. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Daniel G. Lannin, Ph.D., Illinois State University, Department of Psychology, Campus Box 4620, Normal, IL 61790-4620, Phone: (309) 438-8137, FAX: (309) 438-5789 Acknowledgements: Funding for this research was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (Grant #90FM0076). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.


self-stigma; psychological help; help-seeking; distress; youth; adolescents


Family Medicine

Document Type