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ERIC Number: EJ1176633
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
Student Psychological Distress and Degree Dropout or Completion: A Discrete-Time, Competing Risks Survival Analysis
Cvetkovski, Stefan; Jorm, Anthony F.; Mackinnon, Andrew J.
Higher Education Research and Development, v37 n3 p484-498 2018
Studies of psychological distress (PD) in university students have shown that they have high prevalence rates. These findings have raised concerns that PD may be leading to poorer student outcomes, such as elevated dropout rates. The aim of this study was to examine the association of PD in undergraduate university students with the competing risks of degree dropout or completion. It analysed data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. The sample comprised 1265 university students. PD (i.e., probable depression and/or anxiety) was measured with a validated cut-off score of =65 on the 5-item Mental Health Inventory (MHI-5) from the Short Form 36 (SF-36). The study used an accelerated longitudinal design with student year of study as the metric of time and estimated dynamic discrete-time, competing risks survival models. Contrary to expectations, the study found that students with PD had lower odds of degree dropout and higher odds of degree completion than students without PD in year 4 of their degrees. This study contributes to the empirical literature on university student mental health by showing that, while PD can be debilitating and negatively affect students' general educational experience, it is not as harmful to academic progress as might be assumed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A