The relationships between help seeking, social support, coping, and traumatic events among university students

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Ozdemir M., Yazici H.

YUKSEKOGRETIM DERGISI, vol.8, no.2, pp.158-171, 2018 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.2399/yod.18.009
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.158-171
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Traumatic experiences are shocking events that dramatically threaten the individual and communal mental health. It is known that many people experience at least one of these events or situations throughout their life. The primary purpose of this research is to investigate behaviours of university students experienced trauma toward seeking psychological help by associating with coping behaviours and perceived social support. This study was structured in accordance with the sequential explanatory design of mixed-methods. The sample consisted of 700 university students in quantitative part and 10 university students in qualitative part. Research results demonstrated that the frequency of being exposed to or witnessing traumatic events among university students was high. Having traumatic experiences was found significantly associated with perceived social support. It was observed that perceived social support for the students without any trauma experience were higher. There was no significant difference between students who experienced or witnessed a traumatic incident and those who did not experience trauma in terms of the attitudes toward seeking psychological help. In the research, it was confirmed that trauma sufferers appeal to seek and accept emotional social support while individuals not having such experiences significantly have more coping attitudes toward humour and seeking instrumental support. Other coping attitudes were not associated with experiencing trauma.