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Coping style, need for cognition, and college students' attitudes toward psychological counseling

Gregory A Lucas, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This study addressed the relationship of coping style, need for cognition, and college students' attitudes toward psychological counseling. It was hypothesized that a significant, interactive relationship would be found for coping style, specifically task-oriented coping, emotion-oriented coping, and avoidant coping, and need for cognition in predicting attitudes toward counseling. Additional hypotheses asserted that main effects might be found for coping style and need for cognition beyond the interactive contribution of the overall model. ^ Simultaneous multiple regression analyses revealed that coping style, need for cognition, as well as gender, race, and previous need for counseling and history of counseling significantly related to attitudes toward seeking counseling and fears about counseling. Task-oriented coping, higher need for cognition, history of counseling, and female gender were significantly related to more positive attitudes toward seeking counseling and low fears about counseling. Emotion-oriented coping, avoidant coping, no counseling history, and male gender related to less positive attitudes toward counseling and greater fears about counseling. Emotion-oriented coping and previous counseling history each contributed uniquely to the variance in both attitudes and fears beyond the overall contribution of the model. In addition, gender contributed uniquely to the variance in attitudes toward seeking counseling. Women displayed more favorable attitudes and less fears about engaging in counseling. Contrary to the hypothesis, no significant main effect was found for task-oriented coping, need for cognition, or avoidant coping in predicting attitudes or fears. ^ These findings support the need for university psychologists to understand the individual differences of students and how these relate to their attitudes toward seeking counseling and fears associated with being in counseling. Psychologists must consider individual differences in providing psychological services to the student population. Psychologists can educate students about the benefits of counseling and dispel myths that might deter students from presenting. Services such as groups, outreach programs, and informational forums can target students who might exhibit fears and negative attitudes about counseling but might otherwise benefit from more informational and educational activities. ^

Subject Area

Education, Guidance and Counseling|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Lucas, Gregory A, "Coping style, need for cognition, and college students' attitudes toward psychological counseling" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3022647.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3022647

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