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Title: Changes in Undergraduate Students’ Psychological Well-Being as They Experience University Life

Abstract

The onset of most lifetime mental disorders occurs during adolescence, and the years in college, as the final stage of adolescence in a broad sense, deserve attention in this respect. The psychological well-being of undergraduate students can influence not only their academic and professional success, but also the development of society as a whole. Although previous studies suggested psychiatric disorders are common in the adult population, there was little consistent information available about undergraduate students’ mental health problems. This research aimed to describe the changes in depression, anxiety, and stress of Chinese full-time undergraduate students as they experienced university life using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21). The main conclusions of our study were as follows: (1) on average, students’ severity scores of depression during the four academic years varied between 7.22 and 7.79, while stress scores ranged from 9.53 to 11.68. However, the anxiety scores of college students in the first three years turned out to be 7.40, 7.24 and 7.10, respectively, slightly overtaking the normal threshold of 7. These results indicated that Chinese college students, in general, were mentally healthy with regard to depression and stress, but their average anxiety levels were beyond normal in the first threemore » years. (2) As for the proportions of students with different degrees of severity, approximately 38% to 43% of college students were above the normal level of anxiety, about 35% above the normal level of depression, and around 20% to 30% above the normal level of stress. (3) There were significant differences in the psychological health states of students of different years, especially among the sophomores, juniors, and seniors; the highest score of depression, anxiety, and stress all appeared in the first or second year on average, but some improvements were achieved in the third and last years. The findings suggested that colleges and universities need to pay special attention to psychologically unhealthy students, and with concerted efforts by the government, formulate mental health policies in the prevention, detection, and treatment of students’ psychiatric disorders, rather than just focusing on their average levels of mental health.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Peking Univ., Beijing (China). Graduate School of Education; Peking Univ., Beijing (China). China Inst. for Educational Finance Research
  2. Guangzhou Administration School (China). Dept. of Public Policy & Management
  3. Peking Univ., Beijing (China). China Inst. for Educational Finance Research
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Peking Univ., Beijing (China). Graduate School of Education
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1628347
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-00ER41132
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 16; Journal Issue: 16; Journal ID: ISSN 1660-4601
Publisher:
MDPI
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Public, Environmental & Occupational Health

Citation Formats

Liu, Xinqiao, Ping, Siqing, and Gao, Wenjuan. Changes in Undergraduate Students’ Psychological Well-Being as They Experience University Life. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162864.
Liu, Xinqiao, Ping, Siqing, & Gao, Wenjuan. Changes in Undergraduate Students’ Psychological Well-Being as They Experience University Life. United States. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162864
Liu, Xinqiao, Ping, Siqing, and Gao, Wenjuan. Thu . "Changes in Undergraduate Students’ Psychological Well-Being as They Experience University Life". United States. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162864. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1628347.
@article{osti_1628347,
title = {Changes in Undergraduate Students’ Psychological Well-Being as They Experience University Life},
author = {Liu, Xinqiao and Ping, Siqing and Gao, Wenjuan},
abstractNote = {The onset of most lifetime mental disorders occurs during adolescence, and the years in college, as the final stage of adolescence in a broad sense, deserve attention in this respect. The psychological well-being of undergraduate students can influence not only their academic and professional success, but also the development of society as a whole. Although previous studies suggested psychiatric disorders are common in the adult population, there was little consistent information available about undergraduate students’ mental health problems. This research aimed to describe the changes in depression, anxiety, and stress of Chinese full-time undergraduate students as they experienced university life using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21). The main conclusions of our study were as follows: (1) on average, students’ severity scores of depression during the four academic years varied between 7.22 and 7.79, while stress scores ranged from 9.53 to 11.68. However, the anxiety scores of college students in the first three years turned out to be 7.40, 7.24 and 7.10, respectively, slightly overtaking the normal threshold of 7. These results indicated that Chinese college students, in general, were mentally healthy with regard to depression and stress, but their average anxiety levels were beyond normal in the first three years. (2) As for the proportions of students with different degrees of severity, approximately 38% to 43% of college students were above the normal level of anxiety, about 35% above the normal level of depression, and around 20% to 30% above the normal level of stress. (3) There were significant differences in the psychological health states of students of different years, especially among the sophomores, juniors, and seniors; the highest score of depression, anxiety, and stress all appeared in the first or second year on average, but some improvements were achieved in the third and last years. The findings suggested that colleges and universities need to pay special attention to psychologically unhealthy students, and with concerted efforts by the government, formulate mental health policies in the prevention, detection, and treatment of students’ psychiatric disorders, rather than just focusing on their average levels of mental health.},
doi = {10.3390/ijerph16162864},
journal = {International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health},
number = 16,
volume = 16,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {8}
}

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