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Psychological and lifestyle predictors of mental health in higher education: how healthy are our students?

Psychological and lifestyle predictors of mental health in higher education: how healthy are our... The continued increase in mental health problems in students in higher education is a global public health concern. This study aims to examine the predictors of mental health in the context of higher education, focusing on first-year female undergraduate students as a particularly vulnerable group.Design/methodology/approachTwo hundred first-year female undergraduates from a UK Higher Education Institution took part in a quantitative survey. Participants completed a range of questionnaires assessing resilience, perceived stress, levels of depression, hope, general anxiety and levels of exercise.FindingsTwo significant individual predictors of depression were identified: perceived stress and resilience. A mediation analysis showed that resilience acted as mediator for the impact of stress on depression. Two significant individual predictors of anxiety were identified: stress and exercise. There were no significant mediators.Originality/valueTo the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time a range of psychological and lifestyle predictors of mental health while exploring potential mediators have been investigated. From the findings, the authors suggest that psychoeducational interventions targeting resilience while also providing problem-solving strategies could augment internal resources and promote positive mental health in this particularly vulnerable group of young people. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Mental Health Training Education and Practice Emerald Publishing

Psychological and lifestyle predictors of mental health in higher education: how healthy are our students?

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References (55)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1755-6228
eISSN
1755-6228
DOI
10.1108/jmhtep-08-2021-0092
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The continued increase in mental health problems in students in higher education is a global public health concern. This study aims to examine the predictors of mental health in the context of higher education, focusing on first-year female undergraduate students as a particularly vulnerable group.Design/methodology/approachTwo hundred first-year female undergraduates from a UK Higher Education Institution took part in a quantitative survey. Participants completed a range of questionnaires assessing resilience, perceived stress, levels of depression, hope, general anxiety and levels of exercise.FindingsTwo significant individual predictors of depression were identified: perceived stress and resilience. A mediation analysis showed that resilience acted as mediator for the impact of stress on depression. Two significant individual predictors of anxiety were identified: stress and exercise. There were no significant mediators.Originality/valueTo the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time a range of psychological and lifestyle predictors of mental health while exploring potential mediators have been investigated. From the findings, the authors suggest that psychoeducational interventions targeting resilience while also providing problem-solving strategies could augment internal resources and promote positive mental health in this particularly vulnerable group of young people.

Journal

The Journal of Mental Health Training Education and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 20, 2022

Keywords: Anxiety; Stress; Resilience; Exercise; Mental health; Depression

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