The impact of students' 'internally' versus 'externally' oriented coping strategies upon anxiety and depression: Implications for counselling processes

Vicki Bitsika, Christopher Sharpley, Aspasia S. Aroutzidis, Dimity Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


As a preliminary investigation of the implications for counselling practice of Purpose in Life (PIL), Search for Neotic Goals (SONG) and Conscientiousness (CON) as potential buffers against anxiety and depression among university student clients, 398 students from a university in eastern Australia completed measures of these constructs. Results indicated that, although having a clear PIL and being conscientious were negatively associated with anxiety and depression, SONG was positively linked with these disorders. More importantly for counselling processes, up to 10% of those students whose anxiety and depression would make them most likely to seek counselling showed inverse relationships between PIL, SONG and CON and anxiety and depression. Several strategies are suggested for counsellors who work with university student populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy
Issue number1
Early online date13 Feb 2011
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


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