Individual, interpersonal, and institutional level factors associated with the mental health of college students.J Am Coll Health. 2012; 60(3):185-93.JA
This study investigates the individual, interpersonal, and institutional level factors that are associated with overall mental health among college students.
Data are from an online cross-sectional survey of 2,203 students currently enrolled at a large public university.
Mental health was ascertained using a subcomponent of the RAND Medical Outcomes Study functioning and well-being measures developed by the RAND corporation. Stepwise regression was used to determine if self-reported measures of individual (ie, coping abilities), interpersonal (ie, intergroup awareness), and institutional (ie, campus climate/tension) level factors were associated with overall mental health, after controlling for demographic characteristics.
The combined effects of both individual and institutional level measures were associated with student mental health. In particular, limited coping abilities and a perceived racially tense campus climate contributed to the psychological distress of college students.
Simultaneously addressing the individual and institutional level influences on mental health offers the most promising help for students.