Undergraduate mental health issues: the challenge of the second year of study

MACASKILL, Ann (2018). Undergraduate mental health issues: the challenge of the second year of study. Journal of Mental Health, 27 (3), 214-221.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/09638237.2018.1437611

Abstract

Background: Student mental health is a global issue. Macaskill (2012) reported that the second year was associated with the most significant increases in psychiatric symptoms in UK students. Qualitative data were collected to explore this further. Method: Twenty-three second year undergraduate students were interviewed using a narrative interviewing method to explore their experience of their second year of study. They also completed the GHQ-28. Students were grouped according to their psychiatric caseness scores, giving two groups, a well group with scores ≤ 5 and a clinical case group with scores ≥6 and their interview data were compared. Results: Using thematic analysis, various themes and subthemes were identified. While both groups identified the same issues namely, the first year concerns impacting on the second year, course issues, careers and future employability and student debt, the groups reported very different coping styles. Conclusion: There were shared anxieties across both groups. The majority related to institutional practices and the unintended impact they may be having on student mental health. While specialist interventions would help the clinical caseness group, arguably the anxiety levels of both groups would benefit equally from relatively easy to implement, inexpensive institutional changes and/or additions to current practices in universities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: University students, student mental health, anxiety, worry, second year students
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Psychology Research Group
Departments: Development and Society > Psychology, Sociology and Politics
Identification Number: 10.1080/09638237.2018.1437611
Depositing User: Ann Macaskill
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 16:29
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2018 01:40
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18294

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