Factors contributing to the negation of therapeutic services by emerging adults at a South African university

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Van den Berg, M.
Jacobs, I. F.
Weideman, S.
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Faculty of Education, University of the Free State
From a practice point of view it seems as if there are certain factors that might contribute to the fact that emerging adults tend to negate therapeutic help and services. It also seems to be specifically true with regard to emerging adults at university. Help negation seems to occur albeit the fact that therapeutic intervention is seen as an effective tool in managing distress. The aim of the study therefore was to explore which factors contribute to help negation behaviour in emerging adults at a specific university in South Africa. A qualitative case study design was employed where participants who complied with the inclusion criteria set out for the study, were selected by means of non-probability target and snowball sampling. Fifteen students residing in campus residences respectively participated in one of three focus group discussions. Creswell’s spiral of data analysis was used to analyse the transcribed data. The data crystallised into four themes, which contribute to help negation behaviour in emerging adults. Emerging adults have a fear of being judged, stigmatised, recognised, of not being treated confidentially and a fear of being vulnerable and hurt. They prefer to seek help and support from their family and peers and to put their trust in God and their religion; they have internalised beliefs about themselves and therapy and a need for independence; student interns work at the therapeutic centres on campus which specifically contributes to help negation for emerging adults at the university. It is crucial that the professionals revisit their strategies and approaches in order to overcome negation of formal help and create a more understandable, approachable and effective therapeutic service to emerging adults, especially at university therapeutic centres.
Emerging adults, Help negation behaviour, Student, University
Van den Berg, M., Jacobs, I. F., & Weideman, S. 2017. Factors contributing to the negation of therapeutic services by emerging adults at a South African university. Perspectives in Education, 35(1), 98-111.