Men, masculinity, and the contexts of help seeking

Am Psychol. 2003 Jan;58(1):5-14. doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.58.1.5.


Research on men's help seeking yields strategies for enhancing men's use of mental and physical health resources. Analysis of the assumptions underlying existing theory and research also provides a context for evaluating the psychology of men and masculinity as an evolving area of social scientific inquiry. The authors identify several theoretical and methodological obstacles that limit understanding of the variable ways that men do or do not seek help from mental and physical health care professionals. A contextual framework is developed by exploring how the socialization and social construction of masculinities transact with social psychological processes common to a variety of potential help-seeking contexts. This approach begins to integrate the psychology of men and masculinity with theory and methodology from other disciplines and suggests innovative ways to facilitate adaptive help seeking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Decision Making
  • Gender Identity*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men / psychology*
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Conditions