First-year undergraduate students: depressed, distressed, and drained? Influence of depressive symptoms on markers of psychological well-being, sleep, and physical activity

Erica L. Rauff, C. L. van der Meulen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study examined depressive symptomatology (DS) across the academic year in first-year undergraduate students and the influence of DS on anxiety, stress, body esteem, physical activity, and sleep. Participants: Participants were first-year undergraduate students (N= 164). Methods: Participants completed validated self-report measures each quarter. A repeated measures ANCOVA was conducted to examine changes in DS over time. Students were categorized as reporting subclinical (SCD) or clinical (CD) depressive symptoms. A repeated measures MANCOVA was conducted to examine the effect of time and DS groups on primary outcomes. Results: No significant main effects of time were observed for outcomes. Significant between-subjects effects were observed with CD participants reporting significantly higher anxiety and stress and lower sleep than SCD participants. Conclusions: First-year undergraduates with CD may have increased risk for negative markers of psychological and physical health outcomes. Universities should prioritize the psychological and physical health of their first-year students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of American College Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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