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ERIC Number: EJ1095324
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0017-8969
Lifestyle and Mental Health Correlates of Psychological Distress in College Students
Knowlden, Adam P.; Hackman, Christine L.; Sharma, Manoj
Health Education Journal, v75 n3 p370-382 Apr 2016
Objective: College students are at an increased risk of mental distress. The purpose of this study was to determine whether mental and lifestyle factors differed according to self-reported levels of psychological distress. Design and setting: A self-report questionnaire comprising the Kessler-6 Psychological Distress Scale, Revised Life Orientation Test, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and 24-hour recall of lifestyle behaviours was administered to 195 undergraduate college students at a Midwestern US university. Methods: Respondents were grouped into categories of low, moderate and severe mental distress using established cut-points for the Kessler-6 Psychological Distress Scale. Between-group differences were assessed to determine whether the mental and lifestyle variables under investigation differed according to magnitude of mental distress. Results: Significant differences were found between the three categories of mental distress and amounts of optimism, self-esteem and social support. Analysis of the lifestyle variables suggested groups were different for behaviours pertaining to computer screen time, fruit consumption and sugar-sweetened beverage intake when categorised into the three-tier groupings. No significant differences were found for the remaining lifestyle variables or for body mass index. Regression analysis found low levels of optimism, self-esteem and social support significantly predicted mental distress. Conclusion: Results of this study suggested higher amounts of optimism, self-esteem and social support were associated with decreased levels of mental distress in a sample of college students. Additional research is required to determine the role of lifestyle variables in mental distress.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A