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Journal Article Review

1. Provide the referhence using APA style.

Hess, T. R., & Tracey, T. J. G. (2013). Psychological help-seeking intention among college students across three problem areas. Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD, 91(3), 321-330.

2. What is (are) the research hypothesis(es)? State hypotheses explicitly so that it is apparent what was measured.

The research hypothesis is based on the theory of planned behavior (otherwise referred to as TPB), which was used among college students to understand the following: anxiety or depression, career choice concerns, and alcohol or drug use. A survey was done by eight hundred and eighty nine university students for the TPB variables, as well as the belief in personal efficacy and control to solve the problems occasioned by the theory.

Hypothesis 1: Attitude will have the strongest positive relationship of any variable to intention to seek help for the anxiety or depression concern because there are common considerations, for which students seek help (Hess, 2013).

Hypothesis 2: Subjective norm would have the highest degree of a negative relationship to intention to seek help for the alcohol or drug use concern.

Hypothesis 3: Perceived behavioral control-therapy will assess the level of control and efficacy of the students, who believe that they have to seek treatment (Hess, 2013).

Hypothesis 4: Perceive behavioral control-self will assess the level of control and efficacy of the students, who believe that they have to solve their problems on their own.

3. Does (do) the hypothesis(es) follow logically from the arguments presented in the introduction? Provide a short analysis of the arguments and the previous research cited in the introduction that clarifies and justifies the researcher’s hypothesis.

The TPB theory was used to understand the psychological help-seeking intention for 3 common concerns (Hess, 2013):

1. Anxiety or depression

2. Career choice concerns

3. Alcohol or drug abuse

Analysis that was done based on the collected surveys, revealed path invariance; thereby, indicating that the importance of TPB variables does not vary depending on the concern in the decision-making process. The application of TPB will help in increasing research material on differences among specific concerns of psychological problems. The hypotheses applied follow logically to the arguments propounded from the study.

4. What are the independent and dependent variables? Be sure that you state the operational definitions of these variables.

The independent variables are: attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control, while the dependent variables are intention and behavior.

The variables were used as an extension of the theory of reasoned action; however, the same train of thought can be applied to TRB. Based on this model, the direct antecedent to behavior is intention. Intention is preceded by three variables: attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control (Hess, 2013). One’s attitude towards certain behavior will directly affect their intention to engage in that behavior. Subjective norms are the perceived social expectations regarding the behavior, and directly affect intention as well. On the other hand, perceived behavioral control is the variable added to the model, leading to the change from TRA (Theory of Reasoned Actions) to TPB (Hess, 2013).

5. Comment on the appropriateness of the operationalization of the variables and explain why you think these variables are or are not operationalized appropriately.

The variables applied in the study, reflect the train of thought applied to TRB, making them the most appropriate for the results that the study was expecting to retrieve.

Therefore, if a student believes that they have to obtain the above average GPA score to get a certain job, posting once they graduate, their attitude towards studying and their course material will be affected. Such a student is likely to study more to ensure that they get the desired grade. In the end, the student’s attitude resulted in a direct intention to excel in their examinations, which originated in a behavior, characterized by more structured study schedules and research materials.

6. Briefly describe the research methods used in the study. How were the variables examined? Is this study experimental, correlation, or descriptive? (It is also possible that a study can use more than one approach to answer research questions).

The study collected data from a sample size of eight hundred and eighty nine university students, who completed a survey focusing on TPB. The study was correlation, as it attempted to understand three common concerns, as well as the belief in personal efficacy control to solve the problems.

TPB views intention as the main link to behavior. However, the study is focused solely on intention as the outcome variable. Supporting literature to assert the existence of a relationship between intention and behavior is available.

7. Describe the major findings as reported in the results. Do the findings support the hypothesis(es)? What conclusions are made by the researcher?

The focus of the study was the intention to engage in psychological help-seeking. In summary the findings were as follows:

· Attitude had a moderate and positive relationship with intention

· Subjective norm had a large and negative relationship with intention

· Perceived behavioral control therapy had a minimal and positive relationship with intention

· Perceived behavioral control-self had a moderate and negative relationship with intention

8. What future research can be suggested?

Applying the same model to other populations and settings can help provide more tangible information on TPB. Yet, the study should be limited to university students, who are studying Psychology. Future research can focus on other common concerns, different than the three that were in focus during the study, i.e. anxiety or depression, career choice concerns, and alcohol or drug use. The addition of assessing for behavioral control to address concerns individually should be included in future research (Hess, 2013).

9. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this research? If possible, describe at least one minor or major flaw of this research.

A flaw noted, is that the results from the research were in some cases different from the results retrieved from a discussion, focusing on the same research. However, the addition of another variable will enrich mental health and understanding of the decision-making process for university students.

A weakness is that the study was administered in three different ways. It resulted in the need to allow the correlations among the constructs to co-vary.

In addition, though TPB provides a template for creating measures that assess intention and behavior, these measures can lack later replication and standardization, thereby limiting their usefulness.

Since the sample size was from a specific institution and the individuals who took part in the study were not randomly selected, the generalizability of the results was greatly limited.

On a positive note, the study has provided a rich picture of psychological help-seeking. It provides support for a view of a more global nature of help-seeking intention (Hess, 2013).

10. What contributions did this particular study make? Why should we care about this research, as psychological scientists or as consumers or psychological research?

The results from this study support the use of attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control-self, when predicting the intention to seek psychological help (Hess, 2013). There is a need in universities to ensure that clinical services that address the TPB variables are readily available. Awareness of the existence of these services through the relevant communication channels may create a supportive culture, where seeking self-help is concerned.

Psychological help-seeking is a worthy area of research. Not only does it have empirical benefits, but also the study is easy to apply practically. In addition, these findings will help researchers and practitioners to assist people with a variety of concerns

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