Undergraduate Students’ Concerns And Gender Preferences For Counsellors

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A help seeking survey and measures of socioeconomic status, cultural mistrust, and African Self-consciousness were administered to 315 Black college students to study attitudes toward counseling and counselor preference. Multiple Regression analysis indicated that gender, cultural mistrust, and socioeconomic status were statistically significant predictors of attitudes toward counseling with lower socioeconomic class, lower cultural mistrust and female being associated with more favorable attitudes toward seeking counseling.

Canonical correlation analyses of participant attribute variables and counselor preference variables of race and gender for personal (e.g., feeling of inadequacy, depression, poor interpersonal relationships, etc) vocational (e.g., poor grades, indecision about major or occupation), and environmental concerns (e.g., level of perceived racism, sexism, or feelings of isolation) were performed. For personal concerns, canonical analyses indicated that when African Self-consciousness and cultural mistrust are high Black college students tended to prefer a Black counselor, and that Black students who tended to have low levels of African Self-consciousness and who were male preferred a male counselor when faced with personal concerns.

For environmental concerns analyses indicated that higher African Self-consciousness and being female were associated with a preference for Black female counselors. Implications for counseling research and practice are discussed.

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