Assisting distressed college students: assessment of an online interactive training for student support professionals

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elizabeth C. Jodoin (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Deborah Taub

Abstract: Institutions of higher education are experiencing an influx of students in distress. It is imperative that all members of campus are involved in prevention and safety efforts, particularly student support professionals who are on the front lines of student interactions. A major gap in the literature exists, as no published studies have principally explored professional student support staff and their attitudes and referral practices with students manifesting a mental health concern. The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to determine the impact, if any, of Kognito, Inc.'s At Risk for University and College Faculty and Staff online gatekeeper training upon student support professionals' attitudes towards the behavior, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, actual behavioral practices, and intentions to refer distressed college students to counseling services. Using Ajzen's (1991) Theory of Planned Behavior as a guide, this study drew upon a total sample of 123 student support professionals consisting of 19 participants in the elicitation phase, 39 in the pilot study phase, and 65 in the main randomized controlled trial. Findings indicated that the interactive nature of this specific training is effective at altering one's beliefs and attitudes regarding referring a distressed student to counseling services, significantly impacts one's self-efficacy and self-confidence regarding their skills to refer, and modifies one's intentions to refer students to counseling services. Implications for practice are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Attitudes, College Students, Higher Education, Mental Health, Perceptions, Student Support Professionals
College students $x Mental health $z United States
College students $x Mental health services $z United States
Counseling in higher education $z United States
Student affairs services $x Computer-assisted instruction

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