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This study determined the counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South east, Nigeria. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. A sample of 773 SSII adolescents consisting of 165 minor seminarian and 608 in-school adolescents selected from a population of 15,450 minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in the South east Nigeria. Seven research questions and seven corresponding null hypotheses guided the study. The sample which represents 5% of the population was selected using multi-staged sampling procedure.  The instrument for data collection was a 51-item researcher-developed Questionnaire titled: Counselling Needs of Minor seminarian and in-school adolescent. Questionnaire (CNSSSAQ). The instrument was validated by three experts: one each from Guidance and counselling, Psychology and Measurement and Evaluation all in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike. The stability of the instrument was determined using Pearson product moment correlation with a coefficient of 0.84 while the internal consistency reliability was determined using Cronbach Alpha statistic with an overall reliability index of 0.82. Five briefed research assistants helped the researcher in data collection. Out of the 773 copies of the questionnaire administered, 754 copies were returned representing 98 percent return rate and were used for data analysis. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while t-test statistic was used to test the null hypotheses that guided the study at 0.05 level of significance. The results showed that the educational counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in the South East Nigeria are almost the same and their needs include to: build confidence in the class and to improve their academic performance while their vocational counselling needs include to guide them on the type of career/vocation to venture into as well as on how to be self-employed after school; their social personal needs includes how to deal with peer groups, parental autonomy and interpersonal relationship while among their health counselling needs are drug abuse, sexual deviation, interhealth issue, how to deal with infectious diseases such as HIV and AIDS, among other findings. It was also found out that students in rural areas have more counselling needs than their counterpart in urban areas.  Based on the findings, conclusion, discussion and recommendations were made. One of the recommendations was that Guidance-counsellors should be posted to all seminary and secondary schools for the provision of counselling needs of the students, irrespective of their school location.


Title Page                                                                                                                     i

Declaration                                                                                                                  ii

Certification                                                                                                                iii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iv

Acknowledgements                                                                                                    v

Table of Contents                                                                                                       vi

List of Tables                                                                                                              ix

Abstract                                                                                                                      x         

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION                                                                         

1.1       Background to the Study                                                                               1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                                                               8

1.3       Purpose of the Study                                                                                      9

1.4       Research Questions                                                                                         11

1.5       Hypotheses                                                                                                     11

1.6       Significance of the Study                                                                               12

1.7       Scope of the Study                                                                                         14                   

CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE                                              15

2.1       Conceptual Framework                                                                                   15

2.1.1    Concept adolescence                                                                                      15

2.1.2    Concept of minor seminaries                                                                          17

2.1.3    Concept of Counselling                                                                                 17

2.1.4    Need for Counselling Schools                                                                        24

2.1.5    Roles of Counsellors                                                                                       26

2.1.6    Counselling Needs of minor Seminarians and In-School Adolescents          29

2.2       Theoretical Framework                                                                                   36

2.2.1    Client-Centered Theory by Carl Roges (1956)                                               36

2.2.2    Rational-Emotive Theory by Albert Ellis (1977)                                            38

2.2.3    Need Theory by Dover (2019)                                                                        40

2.4       Review of Empirical Studies                                                                          41

2.5       Summary of Literature Review                                                                      54


CHAPTER 3:  METHODOLOGY                                                                         56

3.1       Design of the study                                                                                        56

3.2       Area of the Study                                                                                           56

3.3       Population of the Study                                                                                  57

3.4       Sample and Sampling Technique                                                                    57

3.5       Instrument for Data Collection                                                                       59

3.6       Validation of the Instrument                                                                          60

3.7       Reliability of the Instrument                                                                           60

3.8       Method of Data Collection                                                                             61

3.9       Method of Data Analysis                                                                               61


CHAPTER 4:            RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS                                                   62

1.1              Results                                                                                                            62

4.2       Major Findings                                                                                                82

4.3       Discussion of Findings                                                                                   84



5.1       Summary of the Study                                                                                    89

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                      90

5.3       Educational and Counselling Implications of the Study                                92

5.4       Recommendations                                                                                          94

5.5       Limitation of the Study                                                                                  95

5.6       Suggestions for Further Study                                                                        95









4.1:      Mean Ratings on the Educational Counselling Needs of Minor

            seminarians and in school adolescents in South East (N=754)           62

 4.2:     t-test Analysis of mean Ratings of Minor seminarians and

            In-school Adolescents on their Educational Counselling Needs        63

4.3:      Mean Ratings on the Vocational Counselling Needs of Minor

            seminary and In-school adolescents in South East (N=752)              64

4.4:      Mean Ratings on the Vocational Counselling Needs of Minor

            seminary and In -school adolescents in South East                            65

4.5:      Mean Ratings on the Socio-Personal Counselling Needs of Minor

            seminary and in school adolescents in South East (N=754)               66

4.6:      Mean Ratings on the Socio-Personal Counselling Needs of

            minor seminary and In- school adolescents in South East                  68

4.7:      Mean Ratings on the Health-Related Counselling Needs of Minor

            seminary and In-school adolescents in South East                             69

4.8:      Mean Ratings on the Health-Related Counselling Needs of

            Minor seminary and In- school adolescents in South East                 71

4.9:      Mean Ratings on the Counselling Needs of Minor seminary

            adolescents in Urban and rural areas in the South East (N=157)       72

4.10:    Mean Ratings on the Educational Counselling Needs of Minor

            seminary Adolescents in Urban and Rural Areas in South East         77

4.11:    Mean Ratings on the Counselling Needs of In-school Adolescents

            in Urban and rural areas in the South East (N=597)                           77

4.12:    Mean Ratings on the Educational Counselling Needs of

            In-School Adolescents in Urban and Rural Areas in South East       82









            Adolescents are young people in the adolescence stage of life. There are individuals between the ages of 10 and19 years (WHO, 2011).  Those in schools are called in-school adolescents, some are in technical, vocational schools while some are in seminary schools. In which ever learning ground they are, they have educational, vocational and personal- socio needs (Bor, Dean, Najman & Hayatbakhsh, 2014). Adolescence represents a distinct transitional and developmental stage, during which adolescents go through important biological, psychological, and social changes (Casey, Duhoux & Cohen, 2010). This transitional period is often accompanied by feelings of insecurity, disorientation and anxiety that need to be overcome to successfully complete the transition. Research findings over the past couple of decades suggest that there has been a notable increase in behavioural and psychological problems in adolescents This increase is often attributed to changes in the socio-economical and family context in which children grow up, as well as to changes in adolescents’ experiences, lifestyles, and expectations (Reiss, 2013). As a consequence, researchers now recognize a growing need for the implementation of effective counselling policies that address the needs of adolescents in educational settings (National Academy of Sciences, 2021).

The investigation of adolescents’ counselling concerns through finding out their needs as an important first step towards developing and implementing comprehensive school counselling programmes (Chireshe 2012; Giovazolias, Leontopoulou & Triliva, 2010). Despite this, research investigating adolescents’ perceptions of their counselling needs seems surprisingly scarce, both in Nigeria and elsewhere. What is more, the onset of the recent global recession has dramatically affected the lives of millions of people all over the world and has created an urgent need for research on students and their counselling needs, which might drive future counselling programme decision-making. Adolescents’ perceived counselling needs tend to vary depending on their sex, age, and family socio-economic status including locations (Sculli, 2011). In a study conducted in the USA (Sculli, 2011), high school boys reported greater need in the social/personal domain compared to girls. Moreover, younger adolescents reported more need for help in the areas of bullying and peer pressure, whereas older adolescents expressed a desire to know more about community resources. However, despite preliminary evidence suggesting that Greek university students’ counseling needs varied according to their sex and the number of semesters spent at a university. (Giovazolias, Leontopoulou & Triliva, 2010), a study investigating Nigeria adolescents’ perceptions of their counselling needs is currently not much.


Guidance and counselling is a process of helping individuals through their own efforts to develop and discover their potentialities for personal happiness and social usefulness. It is not the imposition of one person’s point of view upon another person. It is not making decision for an individual which he should make for himself. It is not carrying the burden of another’s life. Rather, guidance and counselling is assistance made available by professionally qualified and adequately trained men and women to an individual of any age to help him manage his own life activities, develop his own point of view, make his own decisions, and carry out his own burden (Parankimalil, 2015).

It includes the help given by one person to another in making choices and adjustments and in solving problems. It aims at aiding the recipient to grow in his independence and ability to be responsible for himself. It is a service that is universal not confined to the school or the family, it is found in all phases of life, in the home, in business and industry, and in government. In social life, in hospitals and in prisons, indeed it is present where there are people who help and wherever there are people who need help.

 In other words, guidance and counselling is that systematic, organized phase of the educational process which helps youth to grow in his power to give point and direction to his own life, to the end that he may gain richer personal experience while making his own unique contribution to our democratic society. Guidance and counselling has many services, one of which is counselling.

Counselling refers to professional services given to an individual who is facing problem and is in need of help to overcome the problem. It is a form of ‘talk theraphy’ (Sharma, 2015). It is a professional process which occurs when a counsellor and a client meet to enhance the psychological wellbeing of a client and also a definitely structured permissive relationship which allows the client to gain an understanding of himself to a degree which enables him to take new positive steps in the light of his new orientation (Mat Nor, 2020). Counselling as the process of education along with instruction, is an integral part of educational system. Counselling programme is designed to address the physical, emotional, social, vocational and academic difficulties of adolescent students. This is to complement learning in the classroom and also enhance academic performance and achievements of the students. Counselling plays a vital role in providing educational, personal, social, mental, emotional and other similar needs of adolescent students. Counselling can be seen as a programme of activities which provide us with the gateway out of existing numerous needs in our present age of complex scientific and technological development (Okobiah & Okorodudu, 2014).  UNESCO module on counselling (2010) posits that counselling is a programme of services to individuals based on their needs and the influence of environmental factors. It is a professional field which has a broad range of activities, programmes and services geared towards assisting individuals to understand themselves, their problems, their school environments and their world and also to develop adequate capacity for making wise choices and decisions (Egenti, Ewomaoghene & Ebizie, 2016).

The goal of counselling services is to enable each learner in institutions of learning derive optimal educational benefits so as to actualize his/her potentialities. Thus, the National Policy on Education (2013) states that in view of the apparent ignorance of many young people about career prospects and in view of personality adjustments of in school adolescent students, career officers and counsellors will be appointed in post-primary institutions and tertiary levels. Anyi (2017) asserts that the aims of counselling services are to provide learners with opportunities to develop knowledge and appreciation of themselves and others, to develop relationship skills, ethical standards and a sense of responsibility. According to Akinade (2012), the major functions of counselling services are to provide opportunities for each in-school adolescents to reach his full potential in the areas of educational, vocational, personal and emotional development. In line with this, Thamarasseri (2014) affirmed that counselling services prepare in school adolescent students to assume increasing responsibility for their decisions and grow in their ability to understand and accept the results of their choices.

Knowledge therefore, reveals that counselling services are range of processes designed to enable adolescents to make informed choices and transitions to adulthood related to their educational, vocational and socio-personal development. Pandey (2016) defined counselling services as services that help students to adjust to all aspects of their life and development and develop into responsible citizens of society. Counselling services are undertaken based on the unique needs of students and take into consideration the fact that an individual has different needs that can affect them physically, mentally as well as emotionally. The services such as educational services, Socio-personal services and vocational services aim to assist students in gaining deeper self-understanding and awareness of one’s problems and the effective use of the decision-making process by formulating alternatives and projecting consequences of each that allow learners such as secondary school adolescents to review critically what has taken place and make provision for future activities if they are needed (Anwana, 2014).

Educational counseling services are the assistance given to learners to help them make suitable decisions regarding their education. According to Phillips (2012), counsellors who provide counseling through classroom activities, individual and group techniques, assists students in applying effective study skills, setting realistic goals, learning effectively and gaining test-taking skills. Educational counselling also focuses on note taking, time management, memory techniques, relaxation techniques, overcoming test anxiety and developing listening skills (Nwaoba, 2015). Educational counselling services have an essential role to play in making sure that students’ educational decisions are grounded on sound decisions and students are helped to develop effective self-management in education and career path. These educational services, according to Paraveen (2017) help all students including minor seminarians, to check wastage and starvation in education, choose educational courses best suited to them and make educational plans consistent with their abilities, interests and goals, to select appropriate curricula and help the learner to be informed about various educational opportunities available for educational growth and developmental needs. These services are expected to be accessed by all students including those studying at the seminary schools.

Another aspect of counselling in-schools is social-personal  counselling which are those services that are designed to assist the student to understand,  accept and respect themselves and others, acquire effective interpersonal skills, understand safety and survival skills, and be able to contribute in their immediate community (Purnama & Rahman, 2014). The counselling services help students to develop awareness and acceptance of self and others, help improve personal competence in survival and responsible for their decisions, develop and maintain good relationships with others. Guidance- Counsellors are expected to provide personal and crisis counselling to students. Socio-personal counselling is also concerned with the developmental needs of the individual in personal and social areas such as developing awareness about interpersonal relationships beginning from the early ages; working on communication skills, life skills, social skills, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills; anger management, dealing with peer pressure and developing healthy relationships with the opposite sex (Bulus, 2010). According to Gatua (2014), Counselling plays a major role of promoting students’ success through a focus on social and emotional adjustment by means of prevention and intervention services, advocacy and treatment of emotional turbulence. They learn more about themselves and others before they have problems resulting from fear, anger and grieving. Socio-personal guidance and counselling services help an individual to know and understand himself/herself and others, accept his superior and limiting features and develop himself, trust himself, develop effective interpersonal relationships, make sound choices about personal and social decisions, become a personally, socially balanced and harmonious individual (Durlak, Weissberg, Taylor and Schellinger, 2011). Thus, they enable the continuously developing individual such as minor seminarians or any other adolescents to manage the developmental tasks at various developmental stages.

Vocational counselling services according to Kehinde (2011), is the process of assisting the individual to choose an occupation, prepare for it, enter upon it and progress in it. It is concerned primarily with helping individuals make decisions and choices involved in planning a future and building a career. The purpose behind assisting the youths to choose, prepare, enter and progress in a vocation is for the optimum growth of the individual. According to Denga (2011), vocational counselling services are those services and activities intended to assist an individual of any age and field of life at any point throughout their lives, for training and for occupational choices and to manage their careers. Stern (2021) defined vocational counselling services as those activities that assesse an individual’s intelligence, aptitude, interests, abilities and skill levels in order to create and follow a career path. Such services refer to services that assist individuals to choose a vocation, prepare for efficiency and success in it (Ogbodo, 2013). Every individual including students has to work. They need to be prepared for such an important aspect of life. Adolescents in schools whether secondary school or seminaries need such services.

Notwithstanding the importance of counselling services embedded in those counselling aspects, the specific counselling services such as counselling, appraisal, referral, placement, information, orientation and follow up are very vital in the life of a student. These are needed by all learners in every institution of learning including those in seminary schools known as seminarians. Apart from academic problems of failure and dropout of students from schools, other numerous psycho-social; vocational and personal-social problems abound among students in schools. Parents and other stakeholders in the education sector in recent times have been concerned about these academic problems of students. WASC results between 2012 and 2017 showed 45% failure according to chief examiner report (2017); this indicate need for counselling in all categories of schools including seminaries.  It is of great importance that counsellors carry out personal-social, educational and vocational guidance and counselling in order to attend to students’ educational, vocational, emotional and social development, bearing in mind their needs and problems as adolescents in secondary schools (Denga, 2011).

The provision of counselling services to minor seminarians and secondary school adolescents is geared towards helping students to understand self and to take appropriate steps in making educational, social, vocational and psychological lifelong decisions (Omoniyi 2016). Consequently, it is necessary to help minor seminarians and secondary school adolescents gain adequate knowledge and understanding about the skills, attitudes and values that they need to cultivate in order to live functionally in a constantly changing society such as Nigeria. According to Omoniyi (2016) the objectives of counselling needs of minor seminarians and school adolescents according to the blueprint are to: Equip  minor seminarians and secondary school adolescents through guidance and counselling programme with the skills of making appropriate satisfying choices, enable the students to develop positive self-image, assist the students to effect smooth transition from one educational level to the other, assist teachers, other school staff members and parents in understanding the needs and problems of each student, assist school administration in her improving educational opportunities and programmes, equip students with problem-solving skills, encourage students to develop good interpersonal relationship, assist students to develop adequate time management skills, mobilize school, home ,comprehensive  and community for the satisfaction of students educational, vocational and psycho-social needs yet there is no guidance and counselling services in seminaries and in some  secondary schools in South East Nigeria. (Field survey, 2021)  Seminaries here are post primary schools for the training of would be Catholic Priests. Minor seminaries are for secondary adolescents’ while senior seminaries are for Under graduates or those who have finished their secondary school. It is based on this that the study tried to find out the counselling needs of minor seminarians and in- school adolescents in public secondary schools in the South-East, Nigeria.



Students at the secondary level of education are mostly adolescents, such as those in the minor Seminaries and secondary schools. These adolescents are in the trial period   between the end of childhood and beginning of adulthood. They have their peculiar needs from those of adults and children irrespective of their learning settings. To be able to transit into adulthood with minimum problems, the adolescents must go through some developmental tasks such as achieving new and more mature relationship with the age mates of both sexes, achieve masculine and feminine roles, emotional independence, social responsible behaviour, prepare for economic life and many others, while their developmental needs include physical needs, personality needs, need for independence, achievement, and a satisfying philosophy of life (Nwaoba, 2015). Government at all levels, seem to encourage every sector of the society to have a stake in seeing to it that adolescents developmental tasks and needs are sufficiently guided to enable them achieve self-worth during this trial period. Stakeholders in education on their own part seem to have encouraged schools to utilize all the available resources within the school and home to help adolescents meet their needs. Hence guidance and counselling programme is established for some periods in the secondary schools excluding seminary schools. Through guidance and counselling programme the adolescents’ tasks and needs could be sufficiently guided.

In spite of these, personal experience shows that minor Seminarians who are also adolescents seem to have no official marked means of meeting and satisfying their developmental tasks and needs through guidance and counselling programme unlike other adolescents in the secondary schools. There are neither guidance and counselling programme nor professional Guidance-Cousellors in the seminary schools.

Consequently, the seminarian's needs for various aspects of school guidance and counselling programme such as educational, vocational and social personal services seem largely unmet. No wonder that some of the minor Seminarians experience intense conflicts and majority rarely get to the peak of the Priestly vocation. This study sets out to identify the counselling needs of adolescents in both minor seminaries and secondary schools mainly to find out if the counselling needs of secondary school adolescents are different or the same with those adolescents in the minor seminaries; with the intention of being equipped with strong scientific basis for advocating for the official establishment of guidance and counselling programme in the minor seminaries. As well as the improvement of the already existing guidance and counselling programme in secondary schools. Therefore, the problem of this study is. What are the counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in public secondary schools in South East, Nigeria?


The purpose of the study was to find out counselling needs of minor seminarians and in- school adolescents in South-East, Nigeria. Specifically, the objectives of the study are to:

1.      Determine the educational counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South-Eastern, Nigeria

2.      Determine the vocational counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South-Eastern, Nigeria

3.      Determine the socio-personal counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South-Eastern, Nigeria

4.      Determine the health counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South-Eastern, Nigeria.

5.      Determine the  counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South-Eastern, Nigeria based on location.

6.      Determine the difference between the educational, vocational and socio-personal counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South Eastern Nigeria.


The following research questions guided the study:

1.        What are the educational needs of Minor Seminaries and in-school adolescents in South East Nigeria?

2.        What are the vocational needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South East Nigeria?

3.        What are the socio-personal counselling needs of the minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South East Nigeria?

4.        What are the health needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents’ in South East, Nigeria?

5.        What are the counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South East Nigeria based on location?

6.        What is the difference between the educational, vocational and socio-personal counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in the South East, Nigeria?


The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05level of significance to further guide the study.

Ho1: There is no significant difference between the educational counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South East, Nigeria?

Ho2: There is no significant difference between the vocational counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South East, Nigeria?

Ho3: There is no significant difference between the socio-personal counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents in South East, Nigeria?

HO4:  There is no significant difference between the health counselling needs of minor-seminarians and in-school adolescents in South-East, Nigeria.  

Ho5: There is no significant difference in the counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescent in South East Nigeria based on location?

HO6:  There is no significant difference between the educational, vocational and socio-personal couselling needs of the minor seminarians and in-school adolescants in South East, Nigeria?


The findings of this study if published would be of a great benefit to minor seminarians and in school adolescents, school guidance-counsellors, teachers, school principals, parents and policy makers, religious formators and the church. The findings would also be significant theoretically.

The findings of this study would help the minor seminarians to make their need assessment and also to understand the need for counseling in seminary schools.

To in-school adolescents, the study would help them to be aware of the benefit and the need for counseling on their needs such as Educational, Vocational and social-personal needs.

The findings of this study would help guidance-counsellors to understand the various counselling needs of in-school adolescents’ including those at the seminary schools. This would help them adjust where necessary for an improvement in their service delivery.  

To the principals and teachers, the right perception of the needs of thier in-school adolescents’. would not only assist them in ensuring that they offer students the necessary support, but would motivate them to also assist school counsellors in promoting the counselling services in schools profession. The findings could sent us a means for advocating for adequate school counsellor roles across the country. The findings would help principals and heads of schools to support counsellors to work towards providing the needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents.

The findings of the study would be beneficial to the parents in that it could bridge the gap between the school system and the students’ families. The parent would be helped to see the needs of their children and wards vis-a-vis the guidance-counsellors in the lives of their children and or wards especially on their academic, social and vocational development.

The findings of this study would be an eye-opener to the policy makers on the relevance of counselling programme in all schools especially in the seminaries. This could spur them to make policies/laws that would positively improve the condition of the counselling in our educational institutions and provide an enabling environment for counselling services in our society generally.

Finally, the findings of this study would contribute to available literature on counselling needs of minor seminarians and in school adolescents. This study would thus serve as valid and usable information to educational sector and add knowledge to other researchers who might wish to embark on research or related perspectives. It is obvious that this work would provide them direction and guideline for their study. Above all, the findings of this study would be used to make a laudable case for establishment of counselling in all seminary schools and secondary schools in South East Nigeria.

The findings of this study would obviously authenticate the assumptions of the major theories   on which this study is based.


The study was on counselling needs of minor seminarians and in school adolescents in public Secondary Schools in South-East, Nigeria in areas of Educational need, Vocational need and social personal need as the content scope. Geographically, this study took place in minor seminary and public secondary schools in South-East, Nigeria. Educational counselling needs, vocational counseling needs, social-personal counselling needs and health-related counselling needs of minor seminarians and in-school adolescents constitute the major content scope. Location (rural and urban) served as the moderating variable.


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