184631 Campus life and mental health: An online survey

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:15 PM

DeAnnah Byrd, MS , School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

To improve mental health and social functioning of students, the 2006 UCLA Ashe Center Student Survey examined the influence of mental health problems and student behaviors on campus life activities.


An online cross-sectional survey of 2,203 students currently enrolled at UCLA. Mental health was ascertained using six mental health scales adopted from RAND. Campus life refers to a set of twelve items related to students' wellbeing (e.g., suicide attempts) and interaction with fellow students, faculty members, counselors, or other staff members.


Most (70%) respondents were female and undergraduates (72%). Most students were Caucasian (38%), Chinese or Chinese American (20%) and Korean or Korean American (6.2%). 27% of students were foreign born and 34% reported that English was not their first language. Over 20% of students reported feeling tense, “high strung,” anxious or worried a good bit of the time. 27% of students reported feeling depressed at times. Using multivariate regression analysis, preliminary findings indicate that mental health problems and number of sick days are significant predictors of involvement in campus life activities; however, the average hours of sleep per night during the week was not significant.


Our sample resembles the increasingly diverse demographic of today's college students: 30% minorities, 20% foreign born or first generation, and 55% female (Choy, 2002). Thus, these factors should be considered in the students' mental health needs. Findings indicate that students are experiencing mental health problems, which in turn affects their education, wellbeing and involvement in campus life activities.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize the growing campus mental health crisis, which affects the health and well being of students. Recognize that mental health problems can have a profound impact on campus life at both the individual and interpersonal levels. Identify specific resources and/or programs universities can offer, which have a positive impact on personal well-being, academic success, and retention.

Keywords: Mental Health, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have considerable experience in data analysis and program planning.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.