Higher self-stigma and anticipated enacted stigma from unit leaders are linked with lower intentions to seek help from a mental health professional in service members. Research in civilians suggests that the association between stigma perceived from others (e.g., anticipated enacted stigma) and help-seeking is fully mediated by selfstigma, but this has yet to be tested in military samples. The current study explored whether self-stigma mediated the association of anticipated enacted stigma from unit leaders and help-seeking intentions from a mental health professional in 138 Iraq/Afghanistan service members. Self-stigma and anticipated enacted stigma were positively correlated with one another and negatively associated with help-seeking intentions from a mental health professional. Test of direct and indirect effects using bootstrapping revealed that the direct effect of anticipated enacted stigma on helpseeking intentions was no longer significant after accounting for self-stigma. Stigma reduction interventions to facilitate help-seeking in this population are discussed.
- Anticipated enacted stigma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)