The Coping Skills and Satisfaction Levels of College Students Receiving Mental Health Services

By Christine B. Kleinpeter, Marilyn Potts and Rob Bachmann.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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This exploratory study describes the 132 students who received mental health services at a southern California community college through the Student Health Center located on campus during the academic year 2011–2012. Students’ coping skills were measured at the beginning of treatment using the Coping Strategy Indicator (Amirkham, 1990) and their satisfaction levels were measured at termination using the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (Larsen, Attkisson, Hargreaves, & Nguyen, 1979). SPSS Version 19 was used to analyze the data. With a possible range of 11–33 for each coping scale, students scored average on problem solving skills (mean=24.68) and seeking social support (mean= 23.40), but high on avoidance coping strategies (mean=23.35). Older students were slightly more likely than younger students to engage in problem solving (r=.18, p=.07) and slightly less likely to engage in avoidance (r=-.21, p=.09). Higher levels of client satisfaction were significantly related to higher levels of seeking social support (r=.31, p=.03). Overall, the students were very satisfied with treatment, as indicated by a mean score of 29.79 out of a possible 32 and a 15.9% dropout rate. Areas for future research are outlined.

Keywords: College, Mental Health, Coping Strategies, Satisfaction

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.69-79. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 387.069KB).

Dr. Christine B. Kleinpeter

Professor, School of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach, California, USA

Dr. Kleinpeter is licensed in psychology and clinical social work, and has over 10 years of clinical experience in a variety of inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings. Her teaching interests are in clinical practice, human behavior, and mental health. She has conducted research in the areas of drug court outcomes, co-occurring drug court outcomes, distance education, and surrogate parenting. She is a trainer in Motivational Interviewing, and has trained many social service professionals, probation workers, child welfare workers, and corrections officers. She has served as the Associate Director and Coordinator of Academic Programs and Coordinator of the Distance Education Program at CSULB. She has supervised both MFT Interns and Social Work Associates toward licensure with the Board of Behavioral Sciences in California.

Dr. Marilyn Potts

Professor, School of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach, CA, USA

Dr. Potts is a former medical social worker. Prior to joining the faculty at CSULB, she was the Fibromyalgia Project Director, Southern California Arthritis Foundation, and a post-doctoral Fellow in Psychiatric Epidemiology, School of Public Health, UCLA. She has published on various gerontological and health-related topics, including grandparents as parents and HIV in women. She is currently the Distance Education Program Coordinator for the CSULB School of Social Work. In this position, she coordinates our off-campus MSW program at sites in northern and central California.

Rob Bachmann

Associate Dean, Student Health Center, Golden West College, Huntington Beach, CA, USA

Rob Bachmann is a Registered Nurse and Associate Dean/Director of Student Health Services at Golden West College. Rob has been an RN for 32 years and has 27 years of experience working in health services in an educational setting both in the k–12 and community college systems. He currently is the president elect for the Health Services Association California Community Colleges. His passion is to support student learning, academic success and retention by promoting and maintaining student health.