Attitudes towards online and face-to-face counselling among university students in Newfoundland

De Paola, Lisa (2020) Attitudes towards online and face-to-face counselling among university students in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study investigated student attitudes towards online and face-to-face counselling at a university in Newfoundland. In addition, the variables ‘self-stigma’, ‘perceived stigma from others’ and ‘practical barriers to treatment’ were examined for their relationship with attitudes towards counselling. There were 166 students that participated in the study that included an online survey. While participants’ attitudes towards online counselling were favourable (M=39.34), students still significantly preferred face-to-face counselling (M=44.18). Students did not associate discomfort with either mode of delivery. Relationships were also found between the variables tested. Students who reported practical barriers to treatment had more negative attitudes towards face-to-face counselling (r=-0.167, p=0.038) but neither positive or negative attitudes towards online counselling. Self-stigma was negatively associated with face-to-face counselling (r=-0.526, p<0.001), but not online counselling. Perceived stigma from others was negatively associated with face-to-face counselling (r=-0.330, p<0.001), and to a lesser extent, online counselling (r=-0.0158, p<0.01). Participants in the study reported facing multiple barriers to treatment, as well as, reported medium to high levels of stigma associated with seeking mental health services. Based on the findings, it is recommended that university counselling centres find ways of increasing access to face-to-face counselling as its students’ preferred method of treatment. In addition, universities should provide outreach to decrease mental health stigma on campus. Since attitudes towards online counselling are favourable, introducing this service could be beneficial, but not with the intention that it will remove barriers to treatment. The implications of stigma and barriers to mental health treatment in these findings in light of students’ attitudes towards counselling is addressed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 14396
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-70).
Keywords: Mental Health, Online Counselling, E-counselling
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: February 2020
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: College students--Counseling of--Newfoundland and Labrador; College students--Newfoundland and Labrador--Attitudes; Counseling--Public opinion.

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