Characteristics of Advice: The Role of Help Seeker, Topic, Help Provider, and Interaction on College Students' Satisfaction with Advice
Roe, Chelsea L.
Division of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
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College students deal with many unique issues which they often have limited experience with, and which require them to seek advice. However, little is known about how college students perceive the advice they receive and what influence their satisfaction with that advice. This study seeks to explore the relationship between the several characteristics which make up a college student’s pursuit of advice and their satisfaction with that received advice. The characteristics measured fell into four categories: help seeker characteristics, topic characteristics, help provider characteristics, and interaction characteristics. Help seeker characteristics include measures of anxiety and depression levels, demographics, perceptions of available support and willingness to self-disclose. Topic characteristics include issue type and perceptions of solvability. Help provider characteristics are perceptions of expertise, trustworthiness, and accessibility. Lastly, interactional characteristics included mode of communication and whether the issue was resolved. These variables were analyzed using a regression model to examine their relationship to satisfaction with advice. Of all the characteristics examined, four emerged as being the most significant predictors of satisfaction: access to help provider, perceptions of issue solvability, the effectiveness of the communication method, and whether the issue was resolved. This information could be used in developing more effective communication channels between students and support providers to lead to the highest levels of satisfaction with advice.