Help-seeking preferences among Chinese college students exposed to a natural disaster : a person-centered approach


Direct exposure to natural disasters is associated with increased mental disorders. Help-seeking behaviour among Chinese adults is low and the barriers and facilitators of help-seeking among Chinese adults exposed to natural disasters is understudied.



Using a person-centred approach, this study describes help-seeking preferences and their correlates in a sample of Chinese college students after experiencing Typhoon Hato, the strongest storm to affect Macao, China in the past 50 years.



The baseline sample was collected one month following exposure to the Typhoon (September 2017). Six months following the baseline study (April, 2018), a total of 815 students (females = 71.5%) completed follow-up and were included in the data analysis. Latent Class Analysis (LCA) and Multinomial Logistic Regression were used to analyse the data via Mplus 7.4 and Stata 15.0.



Three latent classes of help-seeking preferences were identified in this study, including: ‘mental health professionals and close people’ (MHPCP, 52%), non-seekers (31%), and ‘multiple sources’ (17%). The results of multinomial logistic regression showed that region of origin (mainland versus Macao, China), self-stigma, perceived helpfulness of professional mental health help, previous professional help-seeking behaviour, and perceived social support, were significantly associated with MHPCP help-seeking preferences.



A large proportion of students preferred to seek support from loved ones and professionals. However, over 30% of the sample preferred not seeking help for mental health concerns. Further research is needed to enhance mental health treatment seeking preferences among Chinese college students.

Wei Shi & Brian J. Hall | 2020
In: European Journal of Psychotraumatology ; ISSN: 2000-8066 | 11 | 1 | juni | 1761621
Open Access
Adults, Anxiety Disorders, Chinese, College Students, Depressive Disorders, Disasters, Earthquakes, Exposure, Mental health, Natural Disasters, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychosocial support, Psychotrauma, PTSD (DSM-5), PTSD (en), Stressors