Stigma of Seeking Psychological Services: Examining College Students Across Ten Countries/Regions

David L. Vogel, Haley A. Strass, Patrick J. Heath, Fatima R. Al-Darmaki, Patrick I. Armstrong, Makilim N. Baptista, Rachel E. Brenner, Marta Gonçalves, Daniel G. Lannin, Hsin Ya Liao, Corey S. Mackenzie, Winnie W.S. Mak, Mark Rubin, Nursel Topkaya, Nathaniel G. Wade, Ying Fen Wang, Alina Zlati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Stigma is an important barrier to seeking psychological services worldwide. Two types of stigma exist: public stigma and self-stigma. Scholars have argued that public stigma leads to self-stigma, and then self-stigma is the primary predictor of attitudes toward seeking psychological services. However, this assertion is largely limited to U.S. samples. The goal of this research was to provide a first step in understanding the relationship between public stigma, self-stigma, and attitudes toward seeking psychological services in international contexts (N = 3,276; Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Portugal, Romania, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and United States). Using structural equation modeling, we found that self-stigma mediated the relationship between public stigma and attitudes toward seeking services among college students in each country and region. However, differences in path strengths emphasize the need to pay attention to the role of public and self-stigma on attitudes toward seeking psychological services throughout the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-192
Number of pages23
JournalCounseling Psychologist
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • cross-cultural
  • help seeking
  • stigma
  • therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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