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Predicting Counseling Students’ Intention to Seek Counseling

25 July 2011


Although the benefits of personal therapy for therapists, including improved emotional and mental keenness, reduced burnout, enhanced interpersonal and therapeutic skills, improved client empathy, and increased confidence in therapy, have been well documented, few studies have investigated the variables that predict help-seeking intention by therapists in training. The current study examined if a model integrating the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and Cramer’s (1999) model (i.e., adding subjective norm to the Cramer model) better predicted help-seeking intention by counselors in training than either of the two models independently. Participants consisted of 459 masters-level graduate students from various counseling programs across the United States. Structural equation modeling was employed to estimate pathways within the three proposed models. Additionally, the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) was utilized to determine which model provided the best fit to the data. Although the TRA model was not estimated due to convergence issues, the two remaining models were analyzed. Contrary to what was hypothesized, Cramer’s (1999) model proved a better fit to the data than the integrated model. Two new previously untested pathways yielded significant results; both of which highlighted subjective norm as a salient variable (among others) in predicting intention to seek counseling for masters-level counselors in training.


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