Seeking the help of school counselors: Cross-cultural differences in mothers’ knowledge, attitudes, and help-seeking behavior

Martha Shtapura-Ifrah, Maya Benish-Weisman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Seeking help from a school counselor can have a crucial impact on the well-being of both adolescents and their families. Help-seeking is often undertaken by parents who recognize their child's need. Immigrant adolescents may have special need of such services, but their parents are less likely to seek help than those in majority groups. This study compared the propensity of immigrant mothers and Israeli-born Jewish mothers (n = 172) to seek help from the school counselor for their adolescent children. More specifically, using a mixed method design, it measured knowledge of the counselor's role, attitudes to formal help-seeking and help-seeking behavior. Immigrant mothers reported less knowledge of school counseling, had less positive attitudes about help-seeking, and reported less help-seeking behavior than Israeli-born mothers. Our findings suggest attitudes and knowledge about help-seeking positively relate to help-seeking behavior. The latter plays a significant role in predicting the help-seeking behavior of immigrant mothers. The results expand our understanding of the maternal help-seeking process and highlight the need for intervention programs aimed at increasing parental knowledge of the role of school counselors, especially among immigrants.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume69
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Cross-cultural differences
  • Help-seeking
  • Immigrants
  • Knowledge
  • School counselor

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