DO PERSONALITY TRAITS AND PERCEIVED STIGMA PREDICT ATTITUDE TOWARDS HELP SEEKING BEHAVIOUR AMONG CLIENTS UNDER PSYCHIATRIC MANAGEMENT
This study examined personality traits and perceived stigma as predictors of help seeking behaviour among outpatients of Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Nawfia, Anambra State, Nigeria. Three hundred and eighty participants consisting of 180 (47%) males and 202 (53%) females, aged from range of 18 to 65 years, with a mean age of 33.00 and standard deviation of 10.36 responded to the four study instruments. These were Attitude Towards Seeking Professional Psychological Help (ATSPPH-LF); Big Five Inventory (BFI); Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness (ISMI) and World Health Organisation Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS II). Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was employed to analyse the data. The results showed that personality traits such as Agreeable (β =-.16, t=3.05, p<.05), conscientiousness (β =.34, t=5.77, p< .01),Openness (β =-.34, t=-5.15, p< .01), significantly and independently predicted help-seeking behaviour, while Extraversion (β=-.01, t=-.09, p>.05), Neuroticism (β =.11, t=1.85, p> .05) did not predict help-seeking behaviour among psychiatric patients. Also, the result indicated that perceived stigma factors such as Alienation (β=-.04 t=-.37, p>.05), Stereotype Endorsement (β=.02, t=.16, p>.05), Discrimination Experience (β=-.01, t=-.08, p>.05), Social Withdrawal (β=.07, t=.79, p>.05) did not predicts help-seeking behaviour while Stigma Resistance (β=.12, t=2.34, p<.05) significantly predicted help seeking behaviour for mental health. Furthermore, personality traits and perceived stigma jointly and significantly predicted help-seeking behaviour at R2 =.28, F(10, 371) = 14.59, p < .01. Thus, the study recommended the need to adequately sensitise people on the negative consequence of stigmatising individuals with mental challenge.