A Contextual Approach to Understanding Student Help-Seeking Behaviour

Project Number
RS 1/14 CWH

Project Duration
June 2014 - December 2016


Numerous benefits have been associated with seeking early professional help for psychological and emotional problems, particularly amongst adolescents in schools. However, under-utilization of school mental health services such as seeing the school counsellor is still prevalent. In Singapore, recent findings suggested that local students did not exhibit favorable attitudes toward school counselling. Using a mixed-method methodology, the objective of the present study is to propose a socio-cognitive model that incorporates both the Theory of Planned Behavior and Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory to examine and predict students' help-seeking behavior in the local context of school counselling. Findings will be derived from three independent studies in which both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected. The first will involve focus group discussions with secondary school students about their perceptions of school counseling. The subsequent two studies will involve the development of a scale to measure pertinent help-seeking behaviors, and the examination of the interrelationships between individual and contextual factors that contribute to help-seeking behaviors. This study aims to contribute to the state of research with this scale development which would be of predictive value to school counselling in Singapore. It also aims to provide new insights on the inter-relationships between factors that foster or hamper adolescent help-seeking behaviors in schools from an Asian perspective, which may differ from current western models that are largely situated in adult populations.

Funding Source

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