The Relationship between Gender Role Conflict and Psychological Help-Seeking: The Role of Maladaptive Coping

  • David Francis Adams University of Iowa
  • Stefanía Ægisdóttir Ball State University
Keywords: Male college students, psychological help-seeking, BAPS, gender role conflict, maladaptive coping


In the present study we examined the relationships between gender role conflict, maladaptive coping behaviors, and psychological help-seeking among three hundred and ninety-five male undergraduate students from a mid-sized Midwestern university. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the relationships between these variables, and to respond to O’Neil’s (2008) call for more complex investigations of gender role conflict. The proposed model achieved an adequate fit with the data. Contrary to expectations, gender role conflict predicted neither maladaptive coping behaviors nor psychological help seeking attitudes and intentions. However, maladaptive coping significantly predicted psychological help-seeking, such that the greater the use of maladaptive coping strategies among the men the more negative were their psychological help-seeking attitudes and intentions.  Taken together, these results provide future directions for researchers and clinicians interested in gender role conflict and exemplify the impact coping behaviors have on utilization of psychological help.

Author Biographies

David Francis Adams, University of Iowa

Staff Psychologist

University Counseling Service (UCS) at the College of Dentistry

The University of Iowa

Stefanía Ægisdóttir, Ball State University
Professor of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services, Director of Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program