Helping Adolescents in School

By Tony Branwhite | Go to book overview

largest proportion in one category of respondents. Here, teachers initiated mandatory referral to counselors for 22 percent of male students (which was double the level for females), 44 percent of whom felt that the outcome had been purely disciplinary. In another variation on the reported gender findings, De Paulo ( 1978a) indicated that high school students also seem to prefer female helpers in situations which they consider serious. As far as adolescent levels of satisfaction are concerned however, neither gender nor age variables were found to exercise any significant effect ( Morey et al. 1989).


Studies on the Influence of Student Culture

Cultural influences received attention in three of the above investigations. Dutch secondary students, against the overall trend for this group of posthelping studies, demonstrated favorable attitudes toward counseling for personal problems ( De Weerdt 1986). Similarly, 50 percent of the Austrian adolescents in Seifert ( 1985) survey indicated a need for increased counseling on personal concerns. In relation to student satisfaction data, however, Engen, Laing, and Sawyer ( 1988) reported that culture exercised no significant effects.


CONCLUSION

It would clearly be inaccurate to regard adolescence as a phase of human development devoid of demands upon and challenges to the individual's resources. It is therefore understandable that young people commonly seek support from others, and that they sometimes request professional help. Nonetheless, while some compensation may be found in more frequent adolescent support seeking for educational or career issues, the relatively low take-up rates for help with personal problems may be disappointing for teachers and school counselors who want to make this form of support available.

It seems possible that informal relationships in school may offer students sufficient support for low-level difficulties to render requests for teacher assistance unnecessary. Perhaps the low rates of seeking support for personal problems in school may also appear more understandable when viewed in the context of a developmental period which does not generally favor contact with professionals. From such little data as there are available, it seems likely that around one in five adolescents may experience problems acute enough to seek the assistance of a professional helper in school. However, a current constraint is that it remains unclear how far

-45-

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Helping Adolescents in School
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Contemporary Issues 1
  • 2 - Research on Adolescent Help Seeking 13
  • Conclusion 26
  • 3 - Research on Adolescent Perception 29
  • Conclusion 45
  • 4 - New Research Findings 47
  • 5 - New Perspectives 73
  • 6 - Implications for School Development 101
  • Appendix: Survey Questionnaire 121
  • Bibliography 135
  • Name Index 179
  • Subject Index 185
  • About the Author 189
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