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Understanding mental health and well-being in university students: Investigating life events and assessment-related stress

Symons, Owen (2017) Understanding mental health and well-being in university students: Investigating life events and assessment-related stress. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This study aimed to gain insight into students’ mental health levels and their well-being at university. This was done through gaining understanding of students’ life events and assessment-related stress. Mental health was measured by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale [DASS] and life event data were collected through the Social Readjustment Rating Scale [SRRS]. These scales were administered to 103 postgraduate and undergraduate university students (male= 17, female= 86) via an online questionnaire which also asked open-ended questions. Six interviews were conducted to produce more qualitative data to elaborate on the quantitative data from the scales. Three key research questions were addressed by the current study, involving investigating life events students’ experience, students’ mental health levels during the assessment period and the relationships between assessment-related stress and student mental health. Statistically significant findings were produced from correlations, independent t-tests and ANOVAS comparing many different groups. These groups included students who had taken different assessment types, courses and who were also at different stages of education. According to the results of the test criteria, this sample of students was severely depressed, extremely severely anxious and severely stressed. Aspects such as gender were also investigated in addressing the research questions and hypotheses. The present study found that students may be experiencing high levels of mental distress at university, especially during assessment period. This may be due to external factors, individual to each student. This could be reported by the student to the university with the addition of more points of contact for pastoral support and mental health treatment. Assessment-related stress may make a significant contribution to mental health decline in students, as indicated by some findings. Assessment scheduling and more points of contact are given as plausible suggestions to be adjusted in order to help the well-being of students at university.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Depositing User: Mr Owen Symons
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 16:25
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2018 16:25
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21696

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