The gap between a mother seeking psychological help for her child and for a friend's child

Amiram Raviv, Alona Raviv, Yaniv Edelstein-Dolev, Ora Silberstein

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More children need psychological help than those who get it ("service gap"). Since parents are those who refer children for help, they are responsible for this gap. This study examined the difference between the reported willingness of schoolchildren's mothers to seek help from a psychologist and from natural support systems for their own child and to refer another mother for such help. Participants were 321 mothers of 3rd- to 5th-grade children. Participants' reported intentions to seek help for their own child or to refer another's child were evaluated regarding a hypothetical externalisation or internalisation problem behaviour. Mothers were more willing to refer another's child than their own for psychological help. Mothers of boys were more willing to refer their own or another's child for psychological help than mothers of girls. Mothers tended to prefer natural support systems over professional help. Some relations were found between emotional responses and socialisation strategies, and help-seeking intentions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-337
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003


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