Dr. M. Loglisci
06 February 2021
Mental Health Stress in college life
As per research, 34% of American college students are depressed and have a stressful college life. Purdue University did a study with 631 students from Oct 2014- March 2015 to identify important stressors associated with depression of college students. The study found college students that included many international and female students were stressed with depressive symptoms along with eight different types of stressors. Depression can lead to anxiety issues, abuse, poor academic performance, suicides, risks and violent behaviors and other mental disorders in future life. Mental health campaigns are needed for international, female and a diverse group of students in colleges and universities as the students are more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms, anxiety with risky and violent behaviors.
Depression is considered the most frequently noted psychiatric disorder among college students. Studies show the depression is a recurring problem among college student across the United States. About 34.5% of US college students showed signs of depression which made it difficult to function. College students’ depression could result in anxiety problems, substance abuse, poor academic performance, suicides, risky and violent behavior. This puts them more at risk of mental disorders later in life. Students who suffer from depression are more likely to attempt suicide which is found as a leading cause of death for college students. Depression also manifests in violent acts which may threaten the security of the campus and larger society. In addition, depression at an early age has long-term effects on well-being, leading to a number of negative consequences associated with weak interpersonal abilities and poor work achievement.
Other studies have noted an increase in the growing number of college students accessing college and university counselling centers. A survey conducted by Associated Press and mtvU in 2008 found that approximately 40% college students throughout the United States reported that they frequently felt stressed and 10% reported suicidal thoughts. Previous studies have found that many of the college students stressors include feeling lonely, missing family and friends , experiencing interpersonal relationship conflicts, academic pressure, worrying about financial problems and personal health, which may be associated with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. For the college students forming a counselling center for students can be a good idea as many show the form of depression with anxiety and other violent behaviors. The poor academic performance of the students can also lead to depression as per the studies.
As per the research article published in 2016 , “the female students had higher academic stress than male students” . The factors like academic stress, locus of control, life satisfaction and achievement motivation were considered. As per the 2016 Joshua Watson paper 334 students participated in the study and the participants were from different colleges and departments. As per the studies “Gender was significant in the female college students had higher physiological stress compared with their male counterparts”. The researcher collected the data and analysed using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and multiple linear regression models. As per the research they also conducted a one-way MANOCA to determine significant differences between men’s and women’s level of academic stressors. They found female had frustrations, conflicts, pressures, changes, self-imposed, physiological, emotional and behavioral and appraisal stressors. As per the study, student’s family was also a pressure as many were first in the family to attend the college and it can be stressful for students. Educators and counselors are well trained to help students develop a more internalized locus of control and enhance their academic success(Witmer, Cook, Schmitt, & Clinton, 2015). The studies have shown evidence that academic achievement and positive psychological functioning relate to the internal locus of control. Cavazos, Johnson, Fielding,et al (2010) interviewed college students and found the internal locus of control had helped student succeed in college life for education and they had complete control of their academic future which motivated them to work hard. (Mehmet A. Karaman, Eunice Lerma, Javie Cavazos Vela, and Joshua C Watson 2016). Researchers have found life satisfaction was one of the stressors as per the articles by (Frish et.al 2005). The articles stated, “life satisfaction is related to academic achievement, college retention (Frisch et al, 2005), academic satisfaction, college self-efficacy (Ojeda, Flores, & Navarro, 2011), and college persistence (Ojeda, Edwards, Hardin, Pina-Watson 2014”). They found that students with lower life satisfaction had higher levels of academic stress. In the research by (Diener, Emmons, Larsen & Griffin , 1985) to measure the life satisfaction they used the Satisfaction with the life scale. This is a five item self-questionnaire which finds the estimate of the individual’s perceived level of satisfaction. The scoring is then summed up and the highest score indicates the greater life satisfaction. The female students had higher stressors and they also had physiological factors for the stress. Colleges can also implement many wellness models, which can include five domains of well being. These are cognitive well-being, physical well-being, emotional well-being, social well-being. The college counselling programs can incorporate stress education or stress reduction techniques.
Financial burden was found as a stress in the research. Self-reported student loan debt contributes to an increased likelihood of discontinuing college, (Sonya L, Britt, David Allen Ammerman, Sarah F. Barett, and Scott Jones 2017). Even the financial counselling was not of a very great support for them. Though other studies indicated the stress was less after meeting the peer counselor. The timing of the counselling might matter for the college students. The research suggested early intervention for the college students one who have student loan and under higher financial stress (Britt, Canale,Fernatt,Stutz & Tibbetts, 2015) . College education is expensive which can prohibit for higher education for many students. The (Sonya L Britt, David Allen,Ammerman, Sarah F Barrett and Scott Jones 2017) research states “Taking out too much in student loans may contribute to long-term, financial hardship and force borrowers to delay making major purchases, getting married, having children, and investing for future needs such as retirement or saving for their children’s education. “As per the CollegeAtlas (2015), college a college or university degree is worth $365,000 net of cost for the average male student—significantly higher than the $185,000 value to females—over the student’s lifetime. Freshmen students often change their majors one or more times and may have unrealistic expectations about their future income opportunities than others. (Sonya L. Britt, David Allen Ammerman, Sarah F. Barrett, and Scott Jones 2017). In the studies the sample of 2475 students to determine the influence of financial stress, debt loans, and use of financial rates. Some colleges have implemented financial education programs with the assumption that an increase in financial knowledge will lead to positive financial behaviors, reductions in financial stress, and improved student outcomes (Chen & Volpe, )1998. A significant implication of (Britt , Ammerman, Barrett , and Jones )their student loans, financial stress and College Student retention 28 Journal of Student Financial Aid, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrator Vol. 47, N1, 2017 study is that individualized counseling programs that help students increase their financial self-confidence may be effective in increasing student financial well-being and may thereby indirectly improve academic performance and persistence. A holistic approach is needed to address the issues of student financial stress and financial counseling may be a part of the solution (Britt et al 2011)
The college is very important for all and it cannot be stressful. For college education one has to not get stressed and should gotogo to counselling centers. The colleges should form counselling centers and have to start early in the program. So the students can to show the financial burden they should guide them early.
Acharya, Lala, et al. “College Life Is Stressful Today – Emerging Stressors and Depressive Symptoms in College Students.” Journal of American College Health, vol. 66, no. 7, Oct. 2018, pp. 655–664. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/07448481.2018.1451869. http://libproxy.rcsj.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=133640613&site=eds-live&scope=site
Karaman, Mehmet A., et al. “Predictors of Academic Stress Among College Students.” Journal of College Counseling, vol. 22, no. 1, Apr. 2019, pp. 41–55. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1002/jocc.12113.