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Home / Regular Issue / JST Vol. 31 (3) Sep. 2023 / JSSH-8609-2022


Help-Seeking: A Qualitative Study of Help-Seeking Behaviours of Students in Public Secondary Schools in Northeast Nigeria

Is-haq Abdulsalam, Ida Hartina Ahmed Tharbe and Rafidah Aga Mohd Jaladin

Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, Volume 31, Issue 3, September 2023


Keywords: Collectivism, help-seeking behaviour, northeast Nigeria, public secondary schools, school counselling

Published on: 22 September 2023

Researchers from Western countries have studied how adolescents seek help, displaying that many young people are apathetic towards seeking professional counselling. However, using Western samples to highlight the common help-seeking behaviours (HSBs) of adolescents has significantly created a gap in the literature amongst members of indigenous communities in Northeast Nigeria. The literature is yet to understand the dynamics that help promote the HSBs of learners in public secondary schools in the community. Differently, previous studies have been delimited to learners as samples, thus discounting validations by school counsellors and managers. This study employed the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) technique for twenty-four student samples and in-depth interviews with four teacher-counsellors and four in-school administrators to explore the phenomenon of study in a real-world context. Using NVivo 10 software to analyse participants’ data corpus, the study has generated five emergent themes, namely: (i) Responsibility; (ii) Communalism; (iii) Value and belief norms; (iv) Counselling management in schools, and (v) Multicultural biases. As recommendations, the study suggests the need for counsellors to be multiculturally versatile—be aware of cultural interfaces and implications on counselling relationships as much as build linkages—advocacies, collaborations via the school Parents Teacher Association (PTA) and honour confidentiality in counselling.

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