|Abstract as per original application
The mental wellbeing of teachers and students has attracted much attention from the public and media in Hong Kong recently. Although academic pressure, particularly in secondary schools, has been cited as a key contributor of poor wellbeing, there may be other ways in which teacher and student mental health are related.
One possibility is that compromised wellbeing affects teachers’ ability to notice and care for students in need. Another possibility is teachers’ attitude. Could teachers’ negative attitude toward help seeking be associated with the reluctance to refer students in need for mental health support? In particular, reasons for referral studied thus far often focus on perceived problem severity and teachers’ self-efficacy, but rarely on teachers’ psychological health and personal attitudes about help seeking. Given the extensive interaction that frontline teachers have with students, a comprehensive understanding of factors that affect timely referral of students to mental health services is needed.
This proposal has three parts. First, a new measure on attitude toward referring students for mental health support will be developed and evaluated on 150 secondary school teachers. Second, another 250 secondary school teachers will be recruited to validate this new measure and to complete other questionnaires. In particular, teacher factors, such as gender, teaching experience, and counselling training will be examined in relation to teachers’ attitude about help seeking. Teachers will also be asked to rate how likely they are going to refer students on standardized vignettes for mental health support. The likelihood of referral will be examined in relation to teachers’ wellbeing, self-efficacy, perceived problem severity, attitude about help seeking, and attitude about referral. Structural equation modelling will be used to test a novel theoretical framework on referral decision in education settings. Finally, to uncover unique contextual factors that influence teachers’ referral decisions in Hong Kong, 12 teachers will be invited to participate in a phone or in-person interview. For comparison, six who score high on the referral questions in Study 2 will be selected along with six who score low (match on demographics if possible) to discuss their decisions to refer or not to refer. Data will be analyzed using Consensual Qualitative Research (Hill, 2012). Results from these studies will help identify teacher and system factors so that professional development activities may be developed to improve teachers’ attitudes toward help seeking and referrals, with the goal of enhancing mental health for both teachers and students.
此研究建議書有三部分。首先，為了探討影響香港教師轉介決定的獨特背景因素，我們將邀請教師參與電話訪問或面談，討論他們如何作出轉介與否的決定。討論內容將使用Consensual Qualitative Research（Hill，2012）作分析。