Date of Award

December 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Human Services


Derek X. Seward


African American men, help-seeking, self-construal, stigma

Subject Categories



The roles of public stigma, self-stigma and mental health literacy have been found to be influential to the help-seeking process of college students. However, their particular influence has yet to be explored with African American male college students (AAMCS). The purpose of this dissertation is to explore whether public stigma, self-stigma and mental health literacy will significantly predict intentions to seek counseling amongst AAMCS. Research identifying factors for help-seeking amongst AAMCS have largely considered variables such as racial identity, self-concealment, cultural mistrust, Afrocentric values, and African Self-Consciousness. Whereas scholars perceive the help-seeking process of AAMCS with some salience to cultural identity, this dissertation is aimed to account for individual’s construction of identity as a separate but influential factor to the help-seeking process. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were the chosen methods for testing the predictive influence of public stigma, self-stigma, mental health literacy and self-construal on the help-seeking intentions of AAMCS. Results from the analysis revealed participants (n=116) intentions to seek counseling was significantly influenced by stigma. Mental health literacy and self-construal were not found to be influential to the help-seeking intentions of AAMCS. Future directions for counseling practice, education and research are further considered.


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