Help-seeking attitudes among Israeli adolescents

Orya Tishby, Miriam Turel*, Omer Gumpel, Uri Pinus, Shlomit Ben Lavy, Miriam Winokour, Semi Sznajderman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


This study investigated the willingness of Israeli adolescents to seek help for emotional and health problems, and their preference for various helping agents. Nearly fifteen hundred students in grades 7-12 participated in a comprehensive survey of attitudes, health status, and concerns, and the data were analyzed. Gender and age were identified as factors associated with help-seeking attitudes. Females reported a higher level of distress and greater willingness to seek help than did males. Younger adolescents tended to state that they would turn to parents for help, whereas older adolescents increasingly preferred peers. In general, the adolescents preferred to seek help from family and peers for emotional and social problems, rather than turning to professionals. Adolescents in grades 9-10 reported the highest level of distress and were least willing to seek help for interpersonal problems and depressed mood. Overall, level of distress was not directly related to willingness to seek help. In subgroups of depressed and suicidal adolescents, an inverse relationship was found between willingness to seek help and levels of depression and suicidal ideation. Recommendations for health care services and counseling programs are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)249-264
Number of pages16
Issue number142
StatePublished - Jun 2001
Externally publishedYes


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