235052 Sense of coherence and hardiness as predictors of mental health in college students

Monday, October 31, 2011

Amar Kanekar, MPH, CHES, CPH, PhD , Health Studies, East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA
Manoj Sharma, PhD , Health Promotion & Education, University of Cincinnati & Walden University, Cincinnati, OH
Ashutosh Atri, MD , Psychiatry, University of Texas at Houston, Houston, TX
Antonovsky's sense of coherence (SOC) and Kobasa's hardiness are constructs that have been suggested for positive mental health. A few studies have examined these with college students with negative outcomes. One study looked at the relationship of hardiness and SOC on perceived stress and psychological symptoms and found significant negative correlations. Another study in college students found SOC to explain significant amounts of variance in hope and depressive symptoms. In another study with Chinese American college students SOC was found to mediate the effects of parental and peer attachment on depressive symptoms. In another study with bereaved college students hardiness was found to be inversely related to grief symptoms. None of the studies have looked at these constructs with mental health as the dependent variable. So the purpose of this study was to look at the predictive potential of SOC and hardiness on mental health of college students. Mental health was measured by Kessler Psychological Distress Scale K-6. Sense of coherence was measured by SOC-13 and hardiness was measured by College Student Hardiness Measure [CSHM]. All of these scales have acceptable psychometric properties. In arriving at the sample size, an alpha of 0.05, a power of 0.80, and a population correlation coefficient of 0.20 were considered which yielded a sample size of 197. A paper and pencil survey was conducted after obtaining IRB permission. The results supported that sense of coherence and hardiness are useful predictors of mental health. Ways to build these constructs through educational interventions have been discussed.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the session the participants will be able to: 1. Describe the role of sense of coherence (SOC) and hardiness on mental health of college students. 2. Evaluate the scientific rigor of the descriptive cross-sectional study to examine the relationship between SOC and hardiness on mental health of college students. 3. Identify ways to build SOC and hardiness through educational interventions in college students.

Keywords: Mental Health, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Assistant Professor in Health Studies
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.