Degree Name

BS

Department

Psychology

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date

2022-06-03

Publication Date

2022-06-10

First Faculty Advisor

Jonathan Cox, Ph.D., CGP

First Faculty Reader

Klint Hobbs Ph.D.

Honors Coordinator

Bruce Brown, Ph.D.

Keywords

Peer, Counseling, Stressors, Mental Health, College Students, BYU

Abstract

College students experience a variety of stressors that make school difficult (Zhai & Du 2020). While BYU has many good resources for students, students sometimes face difficulties in finding help when they are struggling with mental and emotional difficulties, due to the system being overburdened. The researchers explored peer counseling as a possible solution to getting students the help they need. The researchers administered a questionnaire to a sample of 254 BYU students through an online survey. The questionnaire was adapted from a measure used in a previous study also conducted at BYU (Gibbons et al., 2019). The survey included questions about college students’ stressors, and their attitudes toward help-seeking behaviors. For this study, additional questions were added about students’ interest in and likelihood to pursue help from a peer counselor and a professional counselor. The four issues that students selected as the biggest stressors at BYU were stress (55.7%), depression (32.9%), pornography (23.1%), and perfectionism (22.4%). Of the students, 71.2% said they were likely or somewhat likely to seek help from any source when they are having mental or emotional problems. Students were more likely to be interested in meeting with a professional counselor than a peer counselor, and more likely to refer a peer to meet with a professional counselor than a peer counselor; however, 49.1% students reported interest in meeting with a peer counselor. Based upon these results we recommend that BYU consider creating a peer counseling program to help alleviate the overburdened systems at the University.

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