Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Prediction of University Students' Willingness to Seek Counseling*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Prediction of University Students' Willingness to Seek Counseling*

Article excerpt


The aim of this research is to determine the variables that qualify the help seeking behavior (willingness to seek counseling) of Turkish university students. A total of 5829 college students (2974 females, 2841 males, 14 unknown) from eleven universities in Turkey have participated in the study. Personal Form, Self Concealment Scale, Willingness to Seek Counseling Scale, Problem Areas Scale, Attitudes Towards Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale, Multi-Dimensional Perceived Social Support Scale, Bem Sex Role Inventory have been used in the research. Moreover, the hierarchic regression analysis technique has been used in the analysis of the data. It is observed that the study has significantly predicated the points gathered from independent variables with the points related to willingness to seek help. This finding shows that independent variables can be regarded as explaining the 26 % variance related to the help seeking behavior points. The results show that the most significant predicator of college students' willingness to seeking psychological help level is positive attitudes towards seeking psychological help.

Key Words

Psychological Help Seeking, Willingness to Seek Counseling, Self Concealment, Gender Roles.

Being at a transition stage between puberty and young adulthood; college students have to cope with certain problems brought by college life as well as trying to accomplish their developmental tasks. In this context, there are a lot of researches about university students problems in Turkey (Akaydin, 2002; Erdogan, Sanli, & Bekir, 2005; Karagüven, 2001; Özbay, 1997; Türk Üniversite Gençligi Arastirmasi, 2003; Ültanir, 1998). In the researches which is made in Turkey usually focused on education, unemployment, freedom, communication, confidence, identification, adaptation, parental issues, sexual issues, generation conflict, anxiety, economic issues, While they can sometimes solve these problems by themselves, it might also be the case that they feel the need to seek help from their parents, peers, teachers or specialists. In this respect, they show some help seeking behavior. As indicated by Fischer and Turner (1970), help seeking behavior refers to the extent to which a person utilizes different external sources against a situation that threatens his or her normal life functions, in order to reach or reestablish equilibrium.

Upon realizing problems, people attempt to solve them; for example with the help of social support resources (Wivell & Webb, 1995). Primarily, people choose to receive help form their close relatives or family; and if this does not work well they shift to professional help (Hinson & Swanson, 1993). In other words, people generally see professional help like psychological counseling as a last option and seek it only if their own eforts to solve their prob¬lems are not fruitful (Cramer, 1999; Sherbourne, 1988; Wivell & Webb, 1995). Saunders (1993) has pointed that people's decision processes related to professional help seeking have some similarities. He proposed a four step model suggesting that cli¬ents frst recognize they have a problem; then they decide that counseling might help them solve it; next they decide to seek counseling; and, fnally, they contact a specifc counseling agency or coun¬selor for help.

Tere are diferent reasons why people display help seeking behavior. Some do it because of their fears, weaknesses, and failure while others are voluntary to express their problems to a professional (Özbay, 1997). Unhealthy psychology, high frequency of stressful and unwanted events, intensive health problems, and a lack of social support creates a need for help seeking behavior (Philips & Murrell, 1994).

Tese factors that afect individuals' help seeking behavior can be analyzed by help seeking models. One of these is Cramer's model that is a composite of Kelly and Achter (1995) and Cepeda-Benito and Short's (1998) regression models. …

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