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Original Research

JEBP. 2021; 0(2): 117-126

Professional Psychological Help-Seeking Attitude of Asian International Students in Japan

Won-Tack Lim.


As globalization advances, the world's international student population has continuously risen. Among this enlarged population, numerous students face adjustment problems after realizing unfamiliarity with the host culture at certain points in their sojourns, which often trigger severe psychological distress. Previous studies conducted in the U.S. university settings have pointed to the underutilization of mental health resources by international students as one of the primary risk factors for the betterment of psychological health. Up to the present, however, there is very limited research carried out in places other than leading countries of North America and the British Commonwealth on the topics of international students’ mental health. Different from the predominant research settings of existing research, this article attempts to clarify the distinction in professional help-seeking willingness between Japanese domestic students and international students from other Asian regions who were enrolled in a Japanese university, performing an independent Two-sample Z-test analysis. The result of the findings showed that both Japanese domestic students and Asian international students scored below average in willingness to seek professional help from mental health providers. It also demonstrated that the degrees of local students’ help-seeking willingness did not significantly differ from those of international students. Implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research are also discussed.

Key words: Asian international students, Japanese university, mental health, professional help-seeking willingness, underutilization

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