Negative effects of barriers to seeking psychological help and their association with depression, anxiety, stress, and self-efficacy among college students

Topkaya N., Şahin E., Barut Y.

Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, vol.2017, no.November Special Issue INTE, pp.609-617, 2017 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2017 Issue: November Special Issue INTE
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Journal Name: Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.609-617
  • Keywords: Anxiety, Barriers to seeking psychological help, College students, Depression, Self-efficacy, Stress, Turkey
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


Research has consistently shown that barriers to seeking psychological help are multidimensional and negatively associated with formal help-seeking. However, studies examining the negative effects of barriers to seeking psychological help among diverse samples are scarce. Thus, the purpose of this study is to examine the negative effects of barriers to seeking psychological help among Turkish college students, in particular investigating the association between such barriers and depression, anxiety, stress, and self-efficacy. Participants included 529 college students (M=21.48, 63% female) recruited from various faculties in a university in the Central Black Sea Region of Turkey. They completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21, the General Self-Efficacy Scale, the Barriers to Seeking Psychological Help Scale, and a personal information form. One-way multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed. One-way ANOVA results showed that students who had previously sought psychological help had significantly higher depression, anxiety, and stress scores than other students and male participants had higher general self-efficacy scores than female participants. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses also revealed that the dimensions of barriers to seeking psychological help were positively correlated with depression, anxiety, and stress and negatively correlated with general self-efficacy after controlling for gender and previous help-seeking experience. Reducing barriers related to seeking formal psychological help may help to foster psychological well-being among Turkish college students.