Influences of face, stigma, and psychological symptoms on help-seeking attitudes in Macao

Sut leng Cheang, J. Mark Davis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between concerns about loss of face, stigma, psychological symptoms, and attitudes toward seeking mental health services such as counseling in Macao. Participants included 391 students attending the largest public university in Macao: 277 were from Macao and 114 were from Mainland China. Participants completed questionnaires measuring attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help, concerns about loss of face, self-stigma, public-stigma, and psychological symptoms. Results showed that positive attitudes toward help-seeking were significantly negatively correlated with self-stigma, public-stigma, and concerns about loss of face but there was no significant correlation with psychological symptoms. Psychological symptoms were positively correlated with face concerns, self-stigma, and public-stigma. Stigma (self and public) was found to be significantly positively associated with face concerns, but the correlations were weak. Findings also showed that Macao students had higher levels of distress, and endorsed greater self- and public-stigma than Mainland Chinese students; however, the groups did not differ in face concerns or attitudes toward help-seeking. Regression analysis indicated that group membership was not a significant predictor of help-seeking. Self-stigma was the strongest predictor of professional help-seeking. Age and sex were also found to be significant predictors. Results suggested that younger students were more likely to seek help and that female students reported greater levels of distress and tended to have more positive attitudes toward seeking psychological services than male students.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)222-230
    Number of pages9
    JournalPsych Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


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