Fear of negative evaluation on counselling-help seeking behaviours among public seccondary school students in Nairobi province, Kenya
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Secondary school students have educational and personal problems which are not usually met by the schools' instructional programme. Studies have shown that fear, embarrassment, distress, male gender and stigma are some of the factors contributing to reluctance to seek counseling help for psychological distress. Fear of negative evaluation .has been associated with other social attributes. However, no equivocal data exists on fear of negative evaluation on students' attitudes toward seeking counseling help in secondary schools in Kenya. The study sought to determine the relationship between students' fear of negative evaluation and their Counseling Help Seeking Behaviors among public secondary school students in Nairobi Province. It also sought to find out the gender and grade level differences in fear of negative evaluation and students' attitudes toward seeking counseling help. A total of 253 students both boys and girls participated in the study. Of the enrolled students, 141 were in Form 2 and 112 were in Form 4. Majority of the students were aged 17 years. The school distributions were two' girls' schools, two boys' schools and two mixed schools. Fear of negative evaluation (FNE) scale and Attitude toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help (A TSPPH) scale was used to collect data. The data obtained was coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17 (currently P ASW 17) to determine the predictors of FNE and A TSPPH. A nonparametric correlation coefficient was performed to determine the relationship between FNE and A TSPPH. The study revealed that attitude toward seeking professional psychological help reduced slightly with increase in fear of negative evaluation but the relationship was not linear. There was also no statistically significant. difference between Form 2 and Form 4 students' fear of negative evaluation (p=0,351). There was a statistically significant difference between students' gender and their fear of negative evaluation (p=O.032). Gender was a significant predictor of fear of negative evaluation. The study also revealed that most students had a positive attitude toward seeking psychological help although this was not statistically significant. Further research needs to be carried out in other provinces to find out the relationship between fear of negative evaluation and students' counseling help seeking behaviors.