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Who Asks For Help?: Help-Seeking Attitudes Among Liberal Arts Students

1 May 2014


(Norman et al. 2014). Traditional college students are among this demographic and despite the growing numbers of young individuals who experience stress, there is a considerable gap between stressed out students and the utilization of available resources. This research examines students’ levels of stress and attitudes towards help-seeking behavior and counseling services to understand at which point students choose counseling as a resource. Mixed methods were used to obtain information regarding students help-seeking attitudes. One hundred and twenty-nine students at Pacific University responded to Perceived Stress Scale survey and face-to-face interviews were conducted with six participants who have had some experience with the Pacific University counseling center. Preliminary analysis suggests that there is a critical mass of students at Pacific University who experience significant stress. Students will seek help from family and friends first and only use the counseling center as a helping resource as a last resort. Furthermore, students who have had positive experiences with the counseling center report feeling more independent and feeling more comfortable seeking help in other aspects of their lives from other institutional resources like faculty, and have more positive help-seeking attitudes.


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