Attitudes of secondary school students toward seeking counselling help: the case of Thika District, Kenya
Kibui, Francis Ndung'u
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The aim of the study was to investigate the attitudes of secondary school students toward seeking counseling help, specifically; the study explored the relationship among secondary school students' problem-solving self-appraisals, locus of control and their attitudes toward seeking counseling help from teacher counselors. The relationship that gender and class (form 2 or 3) had to each of these variables was also investigated. The study targeted forms two and three students in Thika District secondary schools. A sample of 320 students comprising 160 boys and 160 girls was purposively selected from those schools having a teacher counselor. However, 39 students did not provide all the required data and thus analysis was carried out using data collected from 281 students (133 girls and 148 boys). This came from 16 schools selected from all the four divisions in Thika District. The study employed the correlation study design and utilized a questionnaire for data collection. The questionnaire was made up of four sections; one to collect demographic information and three others each based on a standardized instrument as follows: The Problem Solving Inventory by Heppner and Petersen (1982) was used to measure the students' problem-solving self-appraisal (PSSA) while the Internal-External Locus of Control Scale by Rotter (1966) was used to measure the locus of control (LOC) dimension. The scale of Attitudes towards Seeking Psychological Help by Fischer and Farina (1995) was used to measure the students' attitudes toward seeking counseling help (ATSH). Data was analyzed using various descriptive statistics, Pearson product-moment correlation, independent samples t-test and multiple regression analysis. Results indicated that majority of the students had positive attitudes toward seeking help (ATSH), had internal locus of control (LOC) and appraised themselves as effective problem-solvers (PSSA). The study confirmed that a correlation exists between ATSH and LOC. ATSH and PSSA and between LOC and PSSA. The study also detected gender differences in students' ATSH and PSSA but not in LOC. Students' scores in these variables did not differ across class (form two and three). The implications of these findings were discussed in relation to strengthening of guidance and counseling in Kenyan secondary schools.