Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Research Proposal

Research Blog #4

Shayla Carroll
Professor Goeller
Research Proposal
March 7, 2017

Working Title: An Increase of Mental Illness Amongst College Students
I will explore the increase in depression and anxiety amongst college students in the United States, as well as in Britain. In the past ten years depression and anxiety high skyrocketed in the university population. This increase can be brought about by a variety of factors, which range from the mere increase of students who chose to attend college to the fact that more colleges across the nation are becoming privatized. It is important that colleges acknowledge this increase in order for them to provide the necessary help to their students.

Research Question
To what extent has depression and anxiety increased in college students and why has this increase occurred? How are colleges taking action in dealing with this epidemic?

Theoretical Frame
There is evidence to prove that the increase in depression and anxiety is likely due to outside stressors, not just a student’s predisposition for a mental illness. Higher education is bringing about overwhelming levels of stress to all aspects of a student’s life. In Dana Becker’s book she mentions that social problems are an inside job that cause stress to many people. Americans, however, take the social stressors causing their problems and try to face it on an individual level basis. It makes no sense to continue providing individual treatment options when the problems themselves are much larger scaled than that.  In an article “"Anxiety: the epidemic sweeping through Generation Y” Rachael Dove explains some of these social problems that Becker brings awareness to. Dove gives examples such as social media and the fear of missing out, FOMO, as aspects of someone’s life that can cause them to experience anxiety. Another issue that can be influencing such high depression and anxiety rates in college students is the privatization of colleges. Privatization of higher education is on the rise in the United States and Britain, and so are depression and anxiety rates. According to Doves’ article, the most prevalent mental illness in Britain is Anxiety. I am curious to find out if college is a common ground for increased depression and anxiety in both the United States and Britain.
Research and Plan:
            The study “Prevalence and Correlates of Depression, Anxiety, and Suicdality Among University Students” by Eisenberg et al., was a study that found an obvious increase in depression and anxiety amongst a college population. This study in particular found that students of a lower socioeconomic background were at a higher risk for mental health problems. With the adverse affects of privatization on students from a lower socioeconomic background, I believe there will be evidence that privatization of colleges can be increasing the prevalence of mental illness in this population. In the study “The relation of depression and anxiety to life-stress and achievement in students” Andrews and Wilding discuss the affects of depression and anxiety on academic performance once a student enters college. A direct correlation to depression and anxiety in this study, much like the one previously discussed, was financial difficulties. Privatization may not be the only thing contributing to the rise of mental illness in college students; the social aspect of drinking may also be contributing to it. In one study by Allan F. Williams, “Social drinking, anxiety, and depression” he writes that students were more likely to feel anxious and depressed during an after drinking. I plan to use evidence from this study once I gain complete access to it. In Amy Novotney’s article she discusses potential resources that will help students cope with anxiety and depression while in school. There is a device that helps log anxiety problems, and gives coping mechanisms. This helps reduce the waitlist time many universities are having issues with at mental health facilities.

Working Bibliography

Andrews, B., Wilding, J. “The relation of depression and anxiety to life-stress and achievement in students.” British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 95, 2004, pp. 509-521.

Becker, Dana. “Does ‘Stress’ Hide Deeper Social Problems?” Time Ideas. 13 Mar. 2013. http://ideas.time.com/2013/03/13/does-stress-hide-deeper-social-problems/. Accessed 22 Feb 2017.

Dove, Rachael. “Anxiety: the epidemic sweeping through Generation Y.” The Telegraph. 20 April 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/health/anxiety-the-epidemic-sweeping-through-generation-y/. 22 Feb. 2017

Eisenberg, D., Gollust, S., Golberstein, E., Hefner, J. “Prevalence and Correlates of Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidality Among University Students. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 77, No. 4, 2007, pp. 534-542.

Novotney, Amy. "Students Under Pressure." American Psychological Association, vol. 45, No. 8, September 2014, pp. 36. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/09/cover-pressure.aspx. Accessed 26 February 2017.

Williams, A. “Social drinking, anxiety, and depression.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 3, No. 6, 1996, pp. 689-693.

Literature Review #2

1. Literature Review
Shayla Carroll

-One of the Authors: Daniel Eisenberg
2. Eisenberg D., Gollust, S.E., Golberstein E., Hefner, J.L. "Prevalence and Correlates of Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidality Among University Students." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 77, No.4, 2007, pp. 534-542.
3.  This Article did a survey, via the web, to assess the prevalence and correlates depression, anxiety, and suicidality in university students. That is, how many cases there are and what life factors are associated with each mental illness. The findings of this article showed that 15.6% of undergraduates and 13.0% of graduate students have some type of depressive or anxiety disorder. Suicidal ideation was considered by 2% of this University's students. The conclusion of this study were that students who had financial struggles were at higher risk for mental illness. The study does address some potential concerns because of non response bias, but ultimately the findings can still be concluded. Implications of this conclusion indicate the universities should address mental health issues in students who come from a lower socioeconomic background being that they are the one's most at risk. In order to keep college success rates high and diverse, this is a must.

4. This research study was conducted by a team from the University of Michigan. Daniel Eisenberg is a Stanford Graduate who is currently a professor, and also the director of the doctoral program of Health Services Organization and Policy at UM. His goal in research is to "improve understanding of how to invest effectively and efficiently in the mental health of young people."
Sarah Gollust is currently a professor at the University of Minnesota. She teachers healthy policy, and focuses on public health in politics. At the University of Minnesota is also Ezra Golberstein who is interested in health economics, mental health services and policy, health care financing and costs, and many other related fields. He received his Ph.D from University of Michigan and has done research at Harvard Medical School.  Jennifer Hefner received her Ph.D in the Health Services Organization and Policy from University of Michigan. She is interested in "primary/hospital care transformation to improve patient care and work satisfaction for providers

5. Suicidality is a word that comes up a lot that many people are not familiar with. Suicidality is the likelihood of an individual committing suicide. Depression is the feelings of persisting sadness and loss of interest. Anxiety is a constant feeling of worry/nervousness typically about the future (whereas fear is present based- anxiety is future oriented).

6. " College and university communities reach over half of each cohort of youths and thus represent opportunities to help prevent mental health problems before they occur or before they become more serious. These efforts can help counter the unfortunate reality that the average delay in seeking care for a mental illness is 8-10 years" (Eisenberg, et al., 540)

"As enrollment of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds rises, understanding and addressing their mental health needs is essential for assuring the conditions for successful educational experiences" (Eisenberg, et al., 540)

"some of the strongest associations were between generalized anxiety disorder and major depression" (Eisenberg, et al., 537)
*this quote is amazing for my paper being that I chose to do anxiety AND depression because of their high comorbidity rate.

7. This research article is a great way to start my argument. My last literature review was based off of the idea that these facts were already set and stone. Though they are, this article provides the statistical evidence necessary. I can use this article as a starting point, and use my other sources to elaborate on more specific causes, and what can be done to help. This article helps me answer the first part of my research question, which is "to what extent has anxiety and depression increased amongst college students?" I hope to find a more recent article being that this one is from 2007, but this is a great place to start. Hopefully I can find a more recent related study that shows these numbers are still on the rise.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Literature Review #1

1.  Literature Review
     Shayla Carroll

2. Novotney, Amy. "Students Under Pressure." American Psychological Association, vol. 45, No. 8, September 2014, pp. 36. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/09/cover-pressure.aspx. Accessed 26 February 2017.

3. I really love the variety in information given in this article. It starts out discussing the statistics of anxiety and depression in college students. The article states that about 1/3 of students from 150 colleges have had difficulty functioning because of depression, and about 1/2 of the students felt overwhelming anxiety. Novotney adds an alarming statistic that about 30% of students who have used mental health services have considered suicide. This article provides the alarming statistics which prove an increase in mental health service usage by college students. This increase is likely due to the fact that colleges are growing in size and the influx of students leads to a demand in clinicians that the university cannot provide. If the university can supply the students with more clinicians, then the students have a greater chance of staying in school and graduating-- which is the ultimate goal of college. The long waitlist to see a counselor is the problem that many universities are trying to fix with the help of cutting down the time of the initial interview/ assessment, and technological devices that act as an electronic therapist for students with anxiety. The device gives students the ability to answer questions about their anxiety, provides coping strategies and educational videos, and allows them to talk to a counselor every week. Because most college students come in to mental health services for anxiety, this device significantly cut down the wait list and is providing students with the necessary help and treatment they need. Another way universities are trying to resolve this issue is by educating faculty members on how to incorporate psychological concepts into the classroom. This article not only gives evidence of the increase in anxiety / depression, but gives answers as to how the university can help.  

4. The author of this article is Amy Novotney, who graduated from Northwestern University. She has ten years of experience in medical and mental healthy writing through jobs like being a communication consultant. She specializes in health writing, editing, proofreading, communications plan development and much more. She has written many articles about incorporating psychology into different aspects of life, such as law enforcement.

5. Innovative treatment models are ways in which the universities are trying to take control of the increase of anxiety and depression. Innovative treatment models in the article include the Brief Assessment and Referral Team (BART), which helps shorten the time of an initial interview, and the student is refered to the appropriate level of care. Another example is the Therapist Assisted Online (TAO) program, which is the device used by students with anxiety. 

A key concept in this article is that colleges have a main focus on retention rate. Retention rates drop when students develop any time of mental illness, which reflects on the college. By using innovative treatment models, universities can keep retention rates up and mental illness cases down. 

6. "The insufficient funding for college mental health services also means inadequate access to care and treatment. Colleges and universities are addressing this challenge by developing quick screening tools and brief consultations to rapidly determine the needs of each new student who visits the counseling center " (Novotney, 36).

"For students to be able to learn at their peak capacity, they need to be physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually well," says Douce. "Students who struggle are more likely to drop out of school, but by providing services for their anxiety, depression and relationship issues, we can help them manage these issues, focus on their academics and learn new ways to be in the world" (Novotney, 36).

"One way that counseling centers are trying to get more support for mental health services is by focusing on a factor administrators understand: a return on investment" (Novotney, 36).

7. This article helps explain what universities can do to help stop the increase in anxiety and depression amongst their students. I feel this article will be of great use towards the middle/ end of my paper when I explain how to potentially solve this problem that is on the rise. I like that there is research that provides evidence for the topic, gives reasons as to why anxiety and depression could be increasing, and gives a solution. The paper is not only about one thing, which will allow me to use bits and pieces of it throughout my paper making strong connections with other texts. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Three Academic Sources

This article talks about the rise of anxiety and depression in the UK in terms of a students' financial situation. I was hoping to link mental illness in the United States with mental illness in the UK because of the rise of privatization in both places. This article can help me merge the two. The conclusion of this study found that financial difficulties can increase student anxiety, and depression can negatively impact a student's academic success. Financial situations and socioeconomic status has came up in quite a few articles I have read. This leads me to believe that privatization of colleges could potentially be indirectly causing mental illness to increase. I am finding articles that will really help the question of my paper out, which is WHY mental illness is increasing so rapidly amongst college students.

I have been waiting to receive access to this article because I believe it could give some answers as to why depression and anxiety is increasing. It is a fact that mental illness is increasing, but I really would like to research why and how it is effecting students in their school and personal lives. The abstract of this article explains that anxiety and depression levels increase while drinking, and after drinking. In the article above I mentioned financial and socioeconomic status, but maybe there is proof that students are not helping their own mental illness by engaging in social drinking. I hope I can gain access to the full article, I feel this will help diversify my paper.

This article contains a lot of information on my topic, not only about anxiety but depression as well. It shows potential reasons as to why mental illness is increasing due to the number of students colleges are letting in. It also explains how colleges are coping, along with statistics about anxiety and depression. The article introduces a new device as a solution to the waitlist problem counselors and university students run into when attempting to get any type of help.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Scouting the Territory

Blog #2

Update: My topic has remained the same since my initial post. I have been doing some research and I am still working on whether I want to include depression as a topic in my paper. From the DSM-5 standpoint, depression has more of a relation to bipolar disorder than anxiety. However, I am almost done with my psychology major and I have learned in many classes that anxiety and depression seem to go hand in hand. Many people who exhibit one, exhibit symptoms of both.

Online findings: From my research thus far, I have learned that depression and anxiety rates have both increased not only in the United States, but also in Britain. There are many factors which contribute to the rise of mental illness among college students, but privatization of colleges are one thing that the United States and Britain both have in common. Privatization, loss of confidence, angst, and obviously depression and anxiety were terms that came up a lot. All of the articles explain different possibilities, viewpoints, and explanations as to why these mental illnesses are on the rise. There are many different research studies, articles, and surveys about this topic. I am interested to see what common grounds are discussed amongst all of them.

Scholarly articles/ books & Conversations about my topic: In Dana Becker's book, she mentions how stress is becoming more of an inside job in that our stress is now causing our problems, we are not stressed because of the problems themselves. One thing she mentions that is causing such stress are the social problems we face. College students all face similar stressors such as being given so many different choices and options, and being afraid to make the wrong decision. Another social issue is the privatization of anxiety (I will hope to continue on this topic with more research). These social problems mentioned also correlate with the article "Anxiety: the epidemic sweeping through Generation Y" by Rachael Dove. One social problem Dove gives for anxiety, is social media and the fear of missing out, otherwise known as FOMO.  Another thing that came up in a scholarly article I reviewed was that students are at a higher risk for mental health problems if they struggle financially. I feel that with this conclusion of the study, I will be able to find a lot of information relating to mental illness and socioeconomic status. Much of this anxiety can be bought out by privatizing colleges, I am excited to see where my research will go.


An alternative useful link: The first useful link I started off with contains statistics on anxiety from college campuses. A potential issue with some of this data is that it is from a few years ago. I would like to research more to find data and surveys that are a bit more recent, but this was a good place for my research to begin. The findings indicate that 80% of students experience frequent stress, 34% have felt depressed, and 13% have been clinically diagnosed with an anxiety or depression disorder.
Other useful links have been discussed above.

Controversies: I have not yet found any controversies on my topic.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Initial Topic Idea

Blog #1

For my project, I am considering researching the prevalence and etiology of mental illness in college students. Particularly, I would like to focus on anxiety and depression. I am double majoring in psychology and social work, so these specific kinds of mental illnesses are something I like to learn about. Throughout my two years of college I've realized that many students struggle with lots of stress which can lead to anxiety and depression. Many of these students think they are going crazy, when in fact they are struggling with something that many of their peers are also dealing with.