The impact of mental health campaigns on attitudes and help-seeking behaviours in New Zealand rugby union players.
Thesis DisciplineBusiness Administration
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
This research aimed to investigate the impact of mental health campaign messages on rugby union players’ attitudes and behavioural intentions. This thesis used the context of New Zealand rugby players to explore whether affective, cognitive or combined types of campaign messaging registered any form of influence on rugby players’ attitudes and behavioural intentions. An experimental method with between-subjects design was used. This project conducted a survey on current rugby union players from the Canterbury region who were over the age of 18 years old. 139 rugby players in total completed the survey. Participants saw one of four different campaign messages that were used to investigate the impact of mental health campaigns on rugby players’ attitudes towards the campaign message and behavioural intentions towards seeking help. Overall, the findings presented very few differences in attitudes and behavioural intentions as a function of the campaign messages. However, contrary to expectations, the results indicated that as participant’s age increases, their likelihood to seek help for a mental health related challenge decreases. This suggested that as a participants’ age increased, they were more likely to have experienced longer periods of exposure to the hegemonic masculinity within the sport. It was speculated that this culture had embedded suppressive behaviours among older players that the younger demographic may not have experienced. The findings from this research suggest that a different type of intervention is required to develop or change help seeking behaviours and attitudes among rugby players. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications, and further suggestions are made for future research.