Intentions to Seek Counseling in First-Generation and Continuing-Generation College Students

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Abstract

The growing socioeconomic diversity of higher education institutions calls for research that addresses the unique mental health needs of first-generation and continuing-generation college students. This study examined associations from environmental supports, personal stigma, self-stigma, and attitudes, to intentions to seek counseling in first- and continuing-generation college students (N = 610). Results of structural equation modeling largely supported hypothesized relationships between variables. Furthermore, the relationship between personal stigma and self-stigma was stronger for continuing-generation students while the relationship between self-stigma and attitudes was stronger for first-generation students. The indirect effect from self-stigma to intentions through attitudes was also stronger for first-generation college students, while the indirect effect from personal stigma to attitudes through self-stigma was stronger for continuing-generation students. Results are discussed in terms of enhancing first-generation college students’ attitudes toward, and intentions to seek counseling.

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