2017 Volume 20 Issue 2 Pages 170-179
This study aims to examine the links between the need for psychological support at schools, declining birthrate, aging population, the different types of schools, and the precise needs contents.
Questionnaires prepared for this study were mailed to all kindergartens and schools in Aomori Prefecture. The questionnaires were designed to elicit information regarding the need for psychological support at schools.
52 kindergartens, 203 primary schools, 102 junior-high schools, and 75 high schools returned filled-in questionnaires. Factor analysis revealed that the schools required psychological support to address the following four concerns: (i) psycho-social problems, (ii) learning problems and group activities facilitation, (iii) career guidance, and (iv) other complex problems. A three-way ANOVA indicated the following. For all schools involved in the study, the need to address psycho-social problems and complex problems was more urgent than the need to address the other problems mentioned above. Additionally, high schools located in areas relatively unaffected by the declining birthrate and aging population had more needs than those located in areas more affected by the two factors. Primary schools and junior-high schools required more support to address psycho-social problems than kindergartens.
To determine the precise needs contents, the specialty of the school counselors (typically clinical psychologists) was discussed. To determine the effects of the declining birthrate and aging population, the load and the specialty of teachers were discussed. In addition, the poor level of awareness regarding the need for psychological support at kindergartens was also discussed.