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STUDENTS' SELF-REPORTS OF HELP-SEEKING: THE IMPACT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS, STRESS, AND DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES ON UTILIZATION OF FORMAL AND INFORMAL SUPPORT

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Abstract:

Undergraduates (N = 248) at a private, midsize, Midwestern university provided self-reports of their psychological problems; stress; demographic variables; and people to whom they talked when they had problems. Help sources ranged from natural to formal support. Three patterns of psychological problems emerged: internalized distress; alcohol abuse; and dysfunctional eating. Demographic variables included, but were not limited to; gender, age, class, international student status, ethnicity, major, religion, residence, and parental income. Neither levels of psychological problems nor stress had much relation to self-reported talking, although internalized distress predicted talking to a counselor. Many demographic variables, particularly gender, international student status, ethnicity, full-time versus part-time status, and major, predicted talking to help sources. Females acknowledged talking more frequently, but genders showed the same preferences for help sources. Results raise issues of helping students, particularly those with alcohol abuse or eating problems, through either arenas or personnel which are nontraditional.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1999.27.2.109

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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