Article ID: 2020.02.003
Background This study attempted to clarify issues regarding difficulties in school life perceived by professional training college students and educational support systems for students including possible developmental disabilities.
Methods We surveyed 953 students enrolled at 9 professional training colleges in Japan by using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire to investigate difficulties during school life, help-seeking preferences, and self-esteem. Difficulties were investigated by using the Self-Cognitive Difficulties Scale, help-seeking preferences were assessed with the Help-Seeking Preferences Scale, and self-esteem was assessed by the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. We also investigated the relationship between the Self-Cognitive Difficulties Scale and the sources of advice used by students.
Results Responses were obtained from 863 students, and those of 775 students were considered to be valid. In terms of learning scenarios, 271 students (35.0%) responded that written examinations caused the most difficulties. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and Help-Seeking Preferences Scale were negatively correlated with the Self-Cognitive Difficulties Scale. With respect to the relationship between sub-factors of the Self-Cognitive Difficulties Scale and sources of advice, the students who asked specialists for advice had significantly higher scores for the factors of interpersonal relationships and reading/writing, as well as significantly higher scores for impulsivity and learning-related difficulties. The students who asked their previous high school teachers for advice had significantly higher scores for inattention and reading/writing. Furthermore, the students who asked senior students in the same department for advice had a significantly higher score for learning-related difficulties.
Conclusion Our results suggested that professional training college students with a high Self-Cognitive Difficulties Scale score are more likely to choose a specialist as the source of advice. When providing educational support to professional training college students, it is important to consider the possibility that their sources of advice might differ depending on their individual self-perceived difficulty characteristics.