Developing an Attitude Scale toward Seeking Psychological Help for Secondary Students

Asst. Prof. Dr., Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, Faculty of Education.


Problem Statement: Adolescence is a period during which emotional and behavioral problems are increased. Adolescents seek answers for the questions such as “hat kind of person should I be?” Additionally, it is a period in which one undergoes and must adapt to physical changes. Some adolescents are not able to find their way during this difficult period, and parents are often not a large source of assistance. Seeking help, adolescents are likely to approach friends to overcome their problems. However, even if the adolescent asks for help from family and friends, this does not substitute for professional psychological help. For this reason, psychological counselors at schools are important sources for professional psychological help. Research indicates that scales that identify attitudes toward professional psychological help have been developed. However, these scales, unique to Turkish culture, are for university students, not for secondary school students who are in the mid-adolescence period.

Purpose of Study: Seeking psychological help from a professional varies depending upon both age and culture. The aim of this study is to develop a scale, the Attitudes toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help, for Turkish secondary school students (ASPH-S).

Methods: In this study, which was based on a general survey, three different groups were used. The first study group was used for testing the structure determined by explanatory factor analysis (EFA). The first group consisted of 142 female students (42.2%), and 194 male students (57.7%). In this group, the ages ranged from 15 to 18 and the mean age was 16. The second study group was used for testing the structure determined by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). This group consisted of 350 students [200 females (57%) and 150 males (42.9%)]. The mean age was 16 (Range = 14-18). The third study group was used for retesting the reliability level of the scale. This group consisted of 150 students [83 females (55.3%) 67 (44.6%) males] and the mean age was 16.

Keywords: Reliability, validity, seeking help, psychological help, attitude.