The effectiveness of online counseling for university students in Turkey: A non-randomized controlled trial

Serife Gonca Zeren*, Seher Merve Erus, Yagmur Amanvermez, Arzu Buyruk Genc, Mihriban Betul Yilmaz, Baki Duy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Online counseling is a mental health intervention between the counselee and the counselor using digital technologies computers or smartphones. A growing number of counselors have been providing counseling via the Internet. However, there are mixed findings regarding the effectiveness of online counseling when compared traditional face-to-face counseling and other modalities. Thus, the main purpose of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of online individual counseling compared to face-to-face counseling, and a control group regarding subjective well-being. To that end, a total of 60 college students were assigned to one of the three groups (21 online, 24 face-to-face, and 15 control). The instruments of the study were the Satisfaction with Life Scale, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, and the Brief Symptom Inventory. In order to examine the effectiveness of online counseling comparing to face-to-face counseling and control group, Mixed design (split-plot) ANOVA was employed. The findings of mixed ANOVA revealed that there was no significant interaction effect for the subjective well-being of the participants in different groups indicating that the three groups did not differ regarding subjective well-being scores measured over three times (pre-test, post-test, and follow-up). Nevertheless, the main effect for the group was significant indicating that the scores of the participants in the face-to-face counseling group regarding positive and negative affect changed significantly. Findings and implications were discussed regarding the relevant literature and some suggestions were offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-834
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Educational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020


This project was granted by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) (project number: 115K429). We would like to thank to TUBITAK for providing financial support. We also would like to thank to the counselors and supervisor took part in this project.

FundersFunder number
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştirma Kurumu


    • Face-to-face counseling
    • Life satisfaction
    • Negative affect
    • Online counseling
    • Positive
    • Subjective well-being


    Dive into the research topics of 'The effectiveness of online counseling for university students in Turkey: A non-randomized controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this