Influence of Self Disclosure, Perceived Stigma, And Social Support on Students’ Attitudes and Intentions to Seek Counseling
Influence of Self Disclosure, Perceived Stigma, And Social Support on Students’ Attitudes and Intentions to Seek Counseling.
The study examined the influence of self-disclosure, perceived stigma and social support on students’ attitude and intentions to seek counselling. Four hundred and ninety-nine (266 male and 233 female) undergraduates of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, aged 18 to 28years (mean age= 23.90, SD= 2.70), participated in the study. Attitude was measured using Attitude Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale while Intentions was measured using Intentions of Seeking Counselling Inventory.
Self-Disclosure, Perceived Stigma and Social Support were measured using Jourard’s Self Disclosure Questionnaire, Social Stigma for Receiving Psychological Help Scale and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support respectively. Multivariate analysis of variance showed that self-disclosure did not significantly influence students’ attitude toward seeking counselling. Perceived Stigma significantly influenced students’ attitude toward seeking counselling, F (1,498) =15.80, p<.001. Social support did not influence students’ attitude toward seeking counselling.
Self-disclosure was found to have significantly influenced students’ intentions to seek counselling, F (1,498) =14.98, p<.001. Further, perceived stigma significantly influenced students’ intentions to seek counselling, F (1,498) =14.73, p<.001. However, social support did not significantly influence their intentions to seek counselling. There was a significant interaction effect between self-disclosure and perceived stigma on attitude toward seeking counselling, F (1,498) =4.94, p<.05; Self disclosure also interacted with social support on attitudes, F (1,498) =4.50, p<.05.
The years of secondary and tertiary education are a very challenging period for youths. This is because the period is characterized by new roles and demands. The youth learns for the first time to live away from the family, get acquainted and friendly with new friends and make personal decisions regarding time use and financial management. A typical student is expected to attend classes, arrange meals, produce assignments, study for tests and examinations, deal with class- mates, contend with roommates, attend fellowship, and wash clothes and tidy surroundings, while handling all other socioeconomic demands.
In addition, they need to define their career interests, work hard to pursue it and get ready for the hustles and bustles of the labor market. The condition in most tertiary institutions in Nigeria makes it all the more stressful for students enrolled therein. Students battle with lack of adequate accommodation, survive on little cash, endure cramped classrooms, and deal with the academic loads. All these are sources of stress for the young person. One avenue through which relief from such pressures could be achieved is by seeking and utilizing counselling services.
Counselling is seen as providing advice or guidance in decision making especially in emotionally significant situations. Burks and Steffire (1979) defined counselling as helping clients understand and clarify their views about life and to learn to reach their self-determined goals through meaningful, well informed choices and through resolution of problems of an emotional or interpersonal nature. Feltham and Dryden (1993) defined counselling as a principled relationship characterized by the application of one or more psychological theories.
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