The Development, Validity, and Reliability of the Barriers to Seeking Psychological Help Scale for College Students

Nursel Topkaya, Ertuğrul Şahin, Betül Meydan


The aim of this study was to develop a scale to determine the barriers affecting undergraduate students seeking psychological help. In line with this purpose, the validity and reliability of the scale were examined in five different samples. Exploratory factor analysis results suggested that the scale consists of five dimensions, labeled as fear of being stigmatized by society, trust in the mental health professional, difficulties in self-disclosure, perceived devaluation and lack of knowledge in the first sample. The confirmatory factor analysis cross-validated the scale’s five-factor structure on a new college students’ sample. The convergent and divergent validity of the scale were also supported with theoretically and empirically expected correlation with self-concealment, self-stigma, and attitudes towards seeking psychological help. Moreover, the scale was found to have an adequate stability coefficient across three weeks and appropriate levels of internal consistency coefficient reliability for each of the subscales in two different samples. These initial findings show that theBarriers to Seeking Psychological Help Scale is a valid and reliable instrument to measure hindrances related to psychological help-seeking for undergraduate students. Future studies can examine the validity and reliability of the scale on different samples and cultures, as well as predictive validity on college students’ decisions to seekcounseling.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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