Psychological health and academic success in college students: An exploratory cross-sectional study
Methods: Students entering the Student Health Services facility of a large Florida University between March 30 and April 9 2015 completed an anonymous 65-item web-based questionnaire. Chi-square tests were used to analyze categorical data, and Fisher’s exact test was used when chi-square assumptions were not met.
Results/Outcomes:The majority of 265 survey participants were between 18 and 22 years old (60.0%), female (63.4%), single (88.7%), Hispanic (46.0%) or White/Non-Hispanic (20.8%), and enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program (79.2%). About two thirds reported a GPA between 3.0 and 4.0 (65.7%). Participants were enrolled in an average of 12.3 ± 4.1 credit hours during the spring 2015 semester. For Hispanic students, students 18-22 years old, and students enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program, those who reported better psychological health had higher GPAs and were enrolled in more credit hours (P < 0.05). For students who were 18-22 years old, enrolled in a Bachelor’s Degree program and either Hispanic or non-Hispanic white, those who seriously considered dropping out of college during the current academic year rated their psychological health more poorly than those who denied such consideration (P < 0.05).
Conclusions:Perceived psychological health among students visiting student health services was associated with several indicators of academic success at a major Florida university. Services are provided at the facility to help students cope with stress and other psychological concerns. Colleges should consider enhancing on-campus psychological health services as a cost-effective strategy for improving academic success and graduation rates.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Basic medical science applied in public health
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences
List two academic performance indicators that are associated with psychological health. Explain the importance of improving the psychological health of college students. Describe how the associations between psychological health and academic performance are different for Hispanics versus Non-Hispanics.
Keyword(s): College Students, Mental Health
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Jessica Weissman is a PhD student at Florida International University in the Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Jessica has experience presenting at major conferences including Florida Public Health Associationâs Annual Educational Conference and the Academy of Nutrition and Dieteticsâ Annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo. Jessica collaborated with her co-authors to conceptualize the study, develop survey methods, and collect data. Jessica performed the statistical analyses, interpreted results, and drafted the enclosed abstract.
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.