Help-seeking behaviors of community-technical college students

Date of Completion

January 1998


Education, Community College|Psychology, Behavioral|Education, Guidance and Counseling|Education, Higher




Help seeking is a complex behavior encompassing social, cultural, and emotional components. The stigma associated with a problem may alter willingness to seek help, from whom help is sought, and the type of assistance offered.^ The sample for this study was taken from the population at eleven of the community-technical colleges in Connecticut. "The Needs Assessment Summary: Connecticut Community-Technical Colleges" was administered to 4,282 students in randomly selected English classes. (Funding for the duplication and purchasing of scan sheets for this survey was provided by a consortia grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education.)^ The central research questions for this study were: what campus resources did community-technical college students find helpful in gaining information on alcohol and other drugs; what was the pattern of referrals by students who reported concerns for a peer in relation to alcohol and other drug use to on- and off-campus resources; and, was this pattern related to selected demographic variables. Rank ordered percents were used to describe the sample, resources helpful in gaining information, and referral choices. Chi-square was employed to determine the relationship between referral resources and selected demographic variables.^ Rank ordered percents indicated that the following were helpful in gaining information: brochures, films/videos, library resources, educational events, academic courses, media campaigns, and awareness weeks.^ Rank ordered percents indicated that each referral option offered received affirmative responses from at least 30% of the sample.^ Chi-square application of variables related to on- and off-campus referral revealed a number of significant relationships. Gender, age, marital status, and parenthood status were related to differences in referral pattern. Females were more likely to refer to counselors. Younger students and unmarried respondents were more likely to refer to counselors, friends, and self-help groups. Married respondents were more likely to refer to friends, treatment centers, and alcohol/drug service agencies.^ Recommendations for future research include utilization of an instrument designed specifically to gain information on help seeking and help seeking behavior. ^