Influence of Social Stigma and Fear of Self-Disclosure on Students’ Perception of Counselling in Secondary Schools in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria (Published)
Fear of self-disclosure and social stigma are social factors that may possibly influence perception about counselling, acceptance of counselling and willingness to access counselling. This study therefore investigated the influence of fear of self-disclosure and social stigma on students’ perception of counselling among secondary school students in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State. It is a correlational study involving a sample of 798 SS2 and SS3 students drawn from a population of 2529 SS2 and SS3 students in public secondary schools in Emohua Local Government of Rivers State. The sampling techniques employed are a combination of simple random sampling and proportionate stratified random sampling techniques. The instrument for data collection is Social Stigma, Fear of Self-Disclosure and Students’ Counselling Perception Questionnaire which was vetted by specialists in Counselling Psychology. Its reliability coefficients obtained through Cronbach alpha technique ranged from 0.71 to 0.86. The results of the study revealed that fear of self-disclosure has a negative and significant influence on counselling perception among secondary school students in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State. Social stigma also has a negative and significant influence on counselling perception among the students. It was therefore recommended that counsellors should uphold the tenets of their profession about confidentiality in handling matters concerning the clients by ensuring that personal information provided by counsellees is not divulge to other people. Students should cease seeing colleagues who seek for counselling as degenerate and irresponsible, but should encourage one another to access counselling when the need arises.