How Do Chinese International Students View Seeking Mental Health Services?
Keywords:acculturation, Chinese international students, gender, help-seeking behaviors, mental health
This study explored how Chinese international students view seeking mental health services. One hundred and ten Chinese international students responded to the Attitude Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale–Short Form (ATSPPH-SF) and a demographic questionnaire. Results of our data analysis revealed no significant main effects of the demographic factors (gender, length of stay in the United States, and awareness of on-campus counseling services) on attitudes toward seeking mental health services. However, awareness of on-campus counseling services was found to be a mediating factor in the relationship between gender and students’ mental health help-seeking attitudes. Based on the findings, we make recommendations on how student affairs professionals can better serve the mental health needs of Chinese and other international students.
Akanwa, E. E. (2015). International students in stern developed countries: History, challenges, and prospects. Journal of International Students, 5(3), 271–284.
Alakaam, A. A., Castellanos, D. C., Bodzio, J., & Harrison, L. (2015). The factors that influence dietary habits among international students in the United States. Journal of International Students, 5(2), 104–120.
Baer, J. (2017). Fall 2017 international student enrollment hot topics survey. Retrieved from https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/Data/Fall-International-Enrollments-Snapshot-Reports
Chalungsooth, P., & Schneller, G. R. (2011). Development of translation materials to assess international students’ mental health concerns. Journal of Multicultural Counseling & Development, 39(3), 180–189.
Chang, H. (2008). Help-seeking for stressful events among Chinese college students in Taiwan: Roles of gender, prior history of counseling, and help-seeking attitudes. Journal of College Student Development, 49(1), 41–51.
Chen, H., Fang, X. Liu, C., Hu, W., Lan, J., & Deng, L. (2014). Associations among the number of mental health problems, stigma, and seeking help from psychological services: A path analysis model among Chinese adolescents. Children & Youth Services Review, 44, 356–362. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.07.003
Chen, S. X., & Mak, W. S. (2008). Seeking professional help: etiology beliefs about mental illness across cultures. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 55(4), 442–450.
Cheng, H., Wang, C., McDermott, R. C., Kridel, M., & Rislin, J. L. (2018). Self-stigma, mental health literacy, and attitudes toward seeking psychological help. Journal of Counseling and Development, 96(1), 64–74. doi:10.1002/jcad.12178
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.
Elhai, J. D., Schweinle, W., & Anderson, S. M. (2008). Reliability and validity of the attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help scale-short form. Psychiatry Research, 159(3), 320–329.
Fang, K., Pieterse, A. L., Friedlander, M., & Cao, J. (2011). Assessing the psychometric properties of the attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help-short form in mainland China. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 33, 309–321. doi:10.1007/s10447-011-9137-1
Fischer, E. H., & Farina, A. (1995). Attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help: A shortened form and considerations for research. Journal of College Student Development, 36, 368–373.
Fischer, E. H., & Turner, J. L. (1970). Orientations to seeking professional help: development and research utility of an attitude scale. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 35, 79–90.
Galligan, P. K. (2016). Male Chinese international students’ utilization of and barriers to mental health resources [Doctoral thesis, University of Iowa]. Iowa Research Online. https://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6722&context=etd
Heaslip, S. R. (2016). An investigation into the psychological help-seeking attitudes of persons with visual impairment [Master’s thesis, University of British Columbia]. UBC Thesese and Dissertations. https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/ubctheses/24/items/1.0228890
Huo, R. (2014). "Eating bitterness”: mental health help-seeking and Chinese international students in the United States [Master’s thesis, Smith College]. Smith Scholar Works. https://scholarworks.smith.edu/theses/786/
Hyun, J., Quinn, B., Madon, T., & Lustig, S. (2007). Mental health need, awareness, and use of counselling services among international graduate students. Journal of American College Health, 56(2), 109–118.
Institute of International Education. (2017). Open Doors report. Retrieved June 29, 2018 from https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Open-Doors/Data/International-Students/Enrollment
Jibreel, Z. (2015). Cultural identity and the challenges international students encounter [Master’s thesis, St. Cloud State University]. The Repository at St. Cloud State. http://repository.stcloudstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1022&context=engl_etds
Joseph, J. (2010). Willingness to seek professional psychological help among Canadians of African descent: A culturally based help-seeking model [Doctoral dissertation, University of Windsor]. Scholarship at UWindsor. https://scholar.uwindsor.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1486&context=etd
Kataria, A. (2018, April 3). Trump's threats to restrict visas prompt Chinese students at Penn to adjust post grad plans. The Daily Pennsylvanian. http://www.thedp.com/article/2018/04/chinese-students-visa-trump-restrictions-penn-ivy-league-philadelphia
Kuo, B. C. H., Kwantes, C. T., Towson, S., & Nanson, K. M. (2006). Social beliefs and determinants of attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help among ethnically diverse university students. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 40(4), 224–241.
Leong, F. T. L., & Zachar, P. (1999). Gender and opinions about mental illness as predictors of attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 27(1), 123–132.
Leong, P. (2015). Coming to America: Assessing the patterns of acculturation, friendship formation, and the academic experiences of international students at a U.S. college. Journal of International Students, 5(4), 459–474.
Li, J., Marbley, A. F., Bradley, L. J., & Lan, W. (2016). Attitudes toward seeking professional counseling services among Chinese international students: Acculturation, ethnic identity, and English proficiency. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 44(1), 65–76.
Lu, S. H., Dear, B. F., Johnston, L., Wootton, B. M., & Titov, N. (2014). An internet survey of emotional health, treatment seeking and barriers to accessing mental health treatment among Chinese-speaking international students in Australia. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 27(1), 96–108. doi:10.1080/09515070.2013.824408
Mak, W. W., & Chen, S. X. (2006). Face concern: Its role on stress–distress relationships among Chinese Americans. Personality and Individual Differences, 41, 143–153. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2005.12.016
Melius, J., & Cannonier, C. (2016). Exploring U.S. Hispanic parents’ length of time in the United States: Influences on obesity outcomes among U.S. Hispanic children. Social Work in Health Care, 55(10), 826–842. doi:10.1080/00981389.2016.1223259
Merta, R. J., Ponterotto, J. G., & Brown, R. D. (1992). Comparing the effectiveness of two directive styles in the academic counseling of foreign students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 39(2), 214–218. doi:10.1037/0022-022.214.171.124
Mesidor, J. K., & Sly, K. F. (2016). Factors that contribute to the adjustment of international students. Journal of International Students, 6(1), 262–282.
Mohatt, N. V., Boeckmann, R., Winkel, N., Mohatt, D. F., & Shore, J. (2017). Military mental health first aid: Development and preliminary efficacy of a community training for improving knowledge, attitudes, and helping behaviors. Military Medicine, 182(1), 1576–1583.
Mojaverian, T., Hashimoto, T., & Kim, H. S. (2013). Cultural differences in professional help seeking: A comparison of Japan and the U. S. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, Article 615. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00615
Mortenson, S. T. (2006). Cultural differences and similarities in seeking social support as a response to academic failure: A comparison of American and Chinese college students. Communication Education, 55(2), 127–146. doi:10.1080/03634520600565811
Nam, S. K., Chu, H. J., Lee, M. K., Lee, J. H., Kim, N., & Lee, S. M. (2010). A meta-analysis of gender difference in attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help. Journal of American College of Health, 59, 110–116.
Nasirudeen, A. A., Koh, J. W., Lau, A. C., Seng, L. L., & Ling, H. A. (2014). Acculturative stress among Asian international students in Singapore. Journal of International Students, 4(4), 363–373.
Nina, A. (2009). International students’ awareness and use of counseling services. McNair Scholars Research Journal, 5(1), Article 6.
Olivas, M., & Li, C. S. (2006). Understanding stressors of international students in higher education: What college counselors and personnel need to know. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 33(3), 217–222.
O’Malley, B. (2018, October 5). Decline of international graduate enrolment quadruples. University World News. http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20181005200448286
Pfohl, A. H. (2010). Factors influencing psychological help seeking attitudes and behaviors in counseling trainees [Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University]. OhioLINK. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1293557571
Picco, L., Abdin, E., Chong, S. A., Pang, S., Shafie, S., Chua, B. Y., & Subramaniam, M. (2016). Attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help: Factor structure and socio-demographic predictors. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, Article 547.
Qu, H. (2018). International student engagement in American higher education: Perspectives of international students toward services provided by the Office of International Services (Publication No. 10823934) [Doctoral dissertation, Saint Louis University]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.
Saint Arnault, D. (2009). Cultural determinants of help seeking: A model for research and practice. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal, 23(4), 259–278.
Samovar, L. A., & Porter, R. E. (1991). Intercultural communication: A reader (6th ed.). Wadsworth.
Sheu, H., & Fukuyama, M. A. (2007). Counseling international students from East Asia. In H. Singaravelu & M. Pope (Eds.), A handbook for counseling international students in the United States (pp. 173–193). American Counseling Association.
Sheu, H., & Sedlacek, W. H. (2004). An exploratory study of help-seeking attitudes and coping strategies among college students by race and gender. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 37(3), 130–143.
Tang, T. T., Reilly, J., & Dickson, J. M. (2012). Attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help among Chinese students at a UK university. Counselling & Psychotherapy Research, 12(4), 287–293. doi:10.1080/14733145.2012.659747
Tedeschi, G. J., & Willis, F. N. (1993). Attitudes toward counseling among Asian international and native Caucasian students. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 7(4), 43–54. doi:10.1300/J035v07n04_04
Tidwell, R., & Hanassab, S. (2007). New challenges for professional counsellors: The higher education international student population. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 20(4), 313–324.
Topkaya, N. (2014). Gender, self-stigma, and public stigma in predicting attitudes toward psychological help-seeking. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice 14(2), 480–487.
Wang, H. (2013). Barriers to Chinese students seeking psychological help from professionals [Doctoral dissertation, University of Iowa]. https://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/2078
Wei, M., Heppner, P. P., Mallen, M. J., Ku, T., Liao, K. Y., & Wu, T. (2007). Acculturative stress, perfectionism, years in the United States, and depression among Chinese international students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54(4), 385–394. doi:10.1037/0022-0126.96.36.1995
Yakunina, E. S., & Weigold, I. K. (2011). Asian international students' intentions to seek counseling: Integrating cognitive and cultural predictors. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 2(3), 219–224. doi:10.1037/a0024821
Yan, K., & Berliner, D. C. (2011). An examination of individual level factors in stress and coping processes: Perspectives of Chinese international students in the United States. Journal of College Student Development, 52(5), 523–542.
Yang, S., Salzman, M., & Yang, C. H. (2015). Exploring the adjustment problems among international graduate students in Hawaii. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 3(3), 214–219.
Yoon, E., & Jepsen, D. A. (2008). Expectations of and attitudes toward counseling: A comparison of Asian international and U.S. graduate students. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 30(2), 116–127. doi:10.1007/s10447-008-9050-4
Yousaf, O., & Popat, A. (2015). The bolstering effect of conceptual priming on psychological help-seeking attitudes in men. Journal of Mental Health, 24(6), 347–350. doi:10.3109/09638237.2014.998808
Zhang, N., & Dixon, D. N. (2003). Acculturation and attitudes of Asian international students toward seeking psychological help. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 31(3), 205–222.
Zheng, K. (2016). Acculturative stress, attachment style and coping style of mainland Chinese international students in the United States [Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati]. OhioLINK. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1470044011
How to Cite
All published articles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License.