Background: Over the past four years, the Franciscan University Counseling Center has reported a 231% increase in yearly visits, as well as a 173% increase in total yearly clients. This trend has been observed at many universities as mental health issues pose significant problems for many college students. The objective of this study was to investigate potential correlates of depression, anxiety, and stress in a sample of college students.
Methods: The final analyzed sample consisted of 374 undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 24 attending Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio. Subjects completed a survey consisting of demographic questions, a section instructing participants to rate the level of concern associated with challenges pertinent to daily life (e.g. academics, family, sleep), and the 21 question version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS21).
Results: The results indicated that the top three concerns were academic performance, pressure to succeed, and post-graduation plans. Demographically, the most stressed, anxious, and depressed students were transfers, upperclassmen, and those living off-campus.
Conclusions: With the propensity for mental health issues to hinder the success of college students, it is vital that colleges continually evaluate the mental health of their students and tailor treatment programs to specifically target their needs.
Keywords: Anxiety; College students; DASS; Depression; Mental health; Stress.
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