Injunctive Norms for Mental Health Treatment-Seeking in a Sample of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Recruits and Officer Cadets


  1. Nazarov, A.
  2. Fikretoglu, D.
  3. Sullivan-Kwantes, W.
  4. Richards, K.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto Research Centre , Toronto ON (CAN)
Background: Accumulating research suggests that military members, including Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel, may be at an increased risk of suffering from mental health problems. Military organizations have devoted significant efforts to increase mental health literacy and to ensure military members access appropriate mental health services in a timely manner. However, mental health service use is still underutilized by military members in need of mental health treatment. Research points to the important role social factors (e.g., perceived influence of others, i.e., social norms) may exert on mental health treatment (MHT)-seeking, and suggests both perceptions of what others would do (i.e., descriptive norms) and perceptions of what others expect one to do (i.e., injunctive norms) may be important. Perceptions of social approval/disapproval for mental health treatment-seeking (i.e., injunctive norms) may be especially complex in the military setting. Military members may perceive different levels of approval/disapproval from military peers, immediate supervisors, and military leadership. They may hear conflicting messages regarding treatment seeking from the CAF as an organization and the (civilian) society at large. Injunctive norms may evolve over time as military members spend more time in the military versus the civilian setting. Objectives: To examine injunctive norms regarding mental health treatment seeking at the beginning of the military career. Design: Eighty

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mental health;treatment-seeking;injunctive norms;normative beliefs;recruits;social sources
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2017-R067 — Scientific Report
Date of publication
01 May 2017
Number of Pages
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