Counseling Insight: The Relation of Depression and Anxiety in Student Achievement
Depression can strike at any age, and seemingly is on the rise with students worldwide. This leads to many concerning issues, such as overall academic performance, inability to create meaningful relationships, increased risk for drug abuse, and even increases in suicide rate.
Depression Impacts Student Achievement
An apparent increase in seriously disturbed students consulting student health services in the UK has led to concern that increasing financial difficulties and other outside pressures may affect student mental health and academic performance. The current research investigated whether student anxiety and depression increases after college entry, the extent to which adverse life experiences contribute to any increases, and the impact of adversity, anxiety and depression on exam performance. 351 UK-domiciled undergraduates completed questionnaires one month before university entry and mid-course. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS: Zigmond & Snaith, 1983) was administered at both time points and a modified List of Threatening Experiences (Brugha, Bebbington, Tennant, & Hurry, 1985) was administered mid-course. By mid-course 9% of previously symptom-free students became depressed and 20% became anxious at a clinically significant level. Of those previously anxious or depressed 36% had recovered. After adjusting for pre-entry symptoms, financial difficulties made a significant independent contribution to depression and relationship difficulties independently predicted anxiety. Depression and financial difficulties mid-course predicted a decrease in exam performance from first to second year. This is the first study to confirm empirically that financial and other difficulties can increase British students’ levels of anxiety and depression and that financial difficulties and depression can affect academic performance. However, university life may also have a beneficial effect for some students with pre-existing conditions. With widening participation in higher education, the results have important implications for educational and health policies.
The relation of depression and anxiety to life-stress and achievement in students. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8192220_The_relation_of_depression_and_anxiety_to_life-stress_and_achievement_in_students .
Also of note, another study on just depression in students:
A number of studies have indicated a high prevalence of mental health problems among students, including depression, compared to the rest of the population (Yusoff et al., 2013). More importantly, recent studies in this area indicate that the psychological and mental problems of students continue to increase (Field, Diego, Pelaez, Deeds & Delgado, 2012). For example, in the United States a national survey in 2005 mentioned that 86% of university counselling centres noted an increase in serious mental health and psychological problems among university students (Gallagher, Weaver-Graham & Tylor, 2005). One of the most prevalent problems of mental health is depression, which is a serious health problem among the student population (Ibrahim, Kelly, Adams & Glazebrook, 2013). Moreover, depression has a significant impact on academic performance, academic satisfaction and academic achievement (Arslan et al., 2009). A study by Wechsler, Lee, Kuo and Lee (2000) reported that students with symptoms of depression achieve lower grades and are less active in the classroom relative to students who do not have these symptoms. The findings show that depression is a serious problem that requires psychological support for the majority of students.
Depression among students: Critical review (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311403567_Depression_among_students_Critical_review.
Depression counseling is a smart way to get involved in making certain the student in your life isn’t fighting a losing battle with depression. Parents can elect to take their child or teen to a counselor near them, or to their general practitioner for a referral. If you are in need of help and aren’t sure where to turn, call us! We can help.