Factors influencing Chinese college students preferences for mental health professionals

Vitti Ip, Fong Chan, Jacob Yui Chung Chan, June Ka Yan Lee, Connie Sung, Emma H. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Transition from high school to college can be particularly difficult and stressful for Chinese college students because of parent expectations.Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine therapist variables influencing Chinese college students preferences for mental health professionals using conjoint analysis.Method: Two hundred fifty-eight community college students in Hong Kong were asked to rate the profile of 55 mental health professionals representing a combination of therapist characteristics (i.e. gender, age, race/ethnicity, professional background, and training institutions) from the most to least preferred therapist from whom to seek psychological counselling.Findings: Results indicated that students preference formation was based largely on professional background and training institution of the mental health professionals. Clinical psychologists and clinical social workers were preferred over educational psychologists (school psychologists), counsellors, and psychiatrists. Mental health professionals who received training from more prestigious schools were preferred over those trained at less prestigious schools.Conclusions: Understanding clients preference formation for choosing mental health professionals could be the first step to gain insights for developing effective educational and outreach strategies to promote help seeking behavior and mental health service utilization among Chinese college students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-147
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 3

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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