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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Margaret O. Ajayi-Nabors
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Title: Students of Indian Heritage and United States Citizen Students’ Adaptation to College, Opinions about Mental Illness and Attitudes toward Seeking Professional Counseling Help
Dr. Joseph R. Morris, Chair
Dr. Norman Kiracofe
Dr. C. Dennis Simpson
Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 Noon to 2:00 p.m.
3208 Sangren Hall
This study compared international college students (n=244) from India and U.S. student participants (n=393) on their adaptation to college, their opinions about mental illness, and their attitudes regarding their professional psychological help seeking behavior. A structural regression model was utilized to examine if student origin influenced opinions about mental illness, student adaptation to college, and attitudes towards seeking professional psychological help. The findings of this project supported Baysden’s (2002) multi-component model to understanding international students’ use of counseling. More specifically, opinions about mental illness, attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help, and adaptation to college, significantly predicted an international student’s use of counseling as compared to U.S. citizen students. Findings also supported Baysden’s (2002) results that students indicating negative opinions about mental illness also reported negative attitudes toward seeking professional counseling help. Furthermore, college students indicating negative opinions about mental illness reported having a higher level of difficulty in adjusting to college than did students indicating less negative opinions about mental illness. College students with positive attitudes toward seeking professional counseling help indicated a significantly better adjustment to college. One unexpected finding was that adaptation to college and attitudes toward seeking professional counseling help were not significant predictors in determining U.S. college students’ use of counseling, but they were for international college students.