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Mental and emotional health

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This study was conducted to gain knowledge about the prevalence of mental health problems in students and the extent to which these mental health issues have an impact on academic functioning in college students.

The data used in this study was all secondary data initially obtained in the Leuven College Surveys—mental health problems were assessed using the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs Short Screener, and academic performance was calculated using the ‘academic year percentage’ of students. The sample used in this study was made up of about 5000 college first-year students.

The results of the study showed that two out of four of the mental health problems being studied (internalising and externalising problems) were associated with a significant decrease in academic functioning and that a wide range of emotional issues has a substantial relationship with lower academic functioning. This study is relevant to the investigation of education, as it pushes the need for further research by researchers in the field regarding the role of externalising problems and high-risk health behaviours in college—it also suggests the need for experimentation into the effectiveness of treatment of emotional issues on academic functioning.

Some of the potential weaknesses of this study are that the pre-college functioning of students was not assessed, so the associations found may be partially driven by unmeasured factors like social/intellectual functioning, and that the sample may not be truly representative of college students in general, as the data used was only from one university, and nonresponse bias may be present in the data.

This study asked about the association between depression and academic performance amongst college students, and the possible negative impact that depression has on students’ academic potential.

This study was conducted using a sample of 164 undergraduate and graduate psychology students. This study used the Beck Depression Inventory-II to determine the presence of depressive symptoms in students and then used a query for cumulative grade point average. The results of the study showed that there was a significant negative correlation between depression and academic performance, as they showed that students exhibiting depressive symptoms were more at a higher risk of having the lower academic achievement.

This study is significant to the study of education practice because it offers crucial insight into the relationship between mental illness and academic performance, and it encourages action toward the incorporation of counselling, etc. to aid the decrease of depressive symptoms in students that can impact academic performance.

Some of the weaknesses/limitations of this study are that other factors affecting mental health—that is, other than academic ones—were not assessed, the GPA that students reported may not actually be an accurate representation of academic functioning, and the sample may not have been an accurate representation of the population being studied, as most undergraduate students surveyed were males, which is not a typical profile of the college student population, and the study used a relatively small sample.

This study was conducted to investigate the impact of child and adolescent mental health on academic success. This study was conducted as an integrated review of the literature about children’s mental health, its effects on academic achievement, and further implications for schools, with a significant focus on school nursing. The research used in this study was from a timeframe of ten years, lasting from 1993-2003, and was entirely made up of peer-reviewed literature.

The results of the study showed that poor academic functioning and attendance problems are early signs of emerging/existing mental health problems in children and adolescents; the results also showed that students who suffer from mental health problems are more likely to have poor school attendance, which further leads to poor academic performance. In this way, the study shows the bidirectional nature of the relationship between children’s mental health and academic achievement.

This study is relevant to the investigation of education because it recommends changes to educational policy in the form of school nursing that addresses children’s mental health needs, and it encourages schools to take on the role of providing mental health services for children. A potential weakness of this study is the fact that it is only a review of the literature, rather than an analysis of data—this lack of data analysis makes the study itself less informative than it could be.

This study was conducted to determine the relationship between the presence of mental illness in students and the academic challenges faced by them, as well as to add to the limited amount of Canadian literature concerned with mental illness in postsecondary students.

The data used in this study was gathered by staff at campus-based counselling/disability centres by surveying approximately 2000 Ontario college students who were accessing these services. The study used the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to determine the prevalence of mental illness in students, and items from the Student Self-Assessment of College Classroom Difficulties Questionnaire were used to determine academic difficulties faced by students; the data were analysed using descriptive analyses and contingency analyses.

A relationship was found between academic challenges and mental illnesses, with students with mental illness diagnoses having significantly higher levels of academic performance challenges than students with no mental illness diagnoses. This study is relevant to the investigation of education because it offers changes to educational policy in Canadian colleges/universities; it suggests the integration of on-campus counselling centres with staff who are licensed mental health professionals, as well as overall educational and preventative measures geared toward mental health within the postsecondary environment.

Some of the weaknesses in this study are that the sample of students may be an underestimate of the actual population being studied, as well as the fact that the sample only included students who were already accessing counselling/disability services, which may constitute a sampling bias; in addition to this, the data used in this study was all second-hand self-reported data, which could form biases such as non-response bias.

This study was conducted to assess the impact of suicidal ideation on college students’ academic performance, to gain important knowledge about the relationship between the two. This study used secondary data from the University of Texas at Austin’s Research Consortium Study, and the sample used in this study consisted of almost 15,000 undergraduate students who had been part of a larger sample in the original study.

Within the study, the behavioural/mental health of students was compared to the students’ academic success—mental health issues and cumulative GPA were used to make these comparisons, and the data were analysed using multilevel regression analysis. It was found that behaviour health was linked to academic performance; students who reported recent suicide ideation also said having lower average cumulative GPA scores.

The study also considered student participation in extracurricular activities, and it was found that students who participated in these extracurricular activities had higher GPAs, showing that social connectedness can also have an impact on academic performance. This study is relevant to the investigation of education, as it offers potential changes to education practice that would change the research of learning a great deal—the study suggests the creation of integrated healthcare systems on campuses that would offer students physical and mental health support services as well as academic support services.

Some potential weaknesses of this study are the facts that the relationship between suicidal ideation and GPA could potentially be bidirectional, and that it was based on the self-report of students, which could result in bias in reporting symptoms.

This study was conducted to examine differences in mental health diagnoses and any related academic impacts that these diagnoses may have on undergraduate students, with a heavy emphasis on which year of college students are in. The data used in this study is all secondary data which was originally found from the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II Spring 2011, and it was analysed in the present study using regression analysis.

The sample used in this study consisted of about 66,000 undergraduate students, with a particular emphasis on first-year college students. The results of this study showed that stressors like anxiety, depression, and stress negatively impacted most students’ grades on exams and projects. This study is relevant to education practice, because, as the authors of the study point out, it is crucial for educators to teach students about emotional/mental health and incorporate health into the student experience—the findings of this study may be used to alter and enhance education practices.

However, a potential weakness of the study is the fact that the data used for it may have lacked the potential for generalizability and the fact that the students who participated in the original survey may have been reluctant to provide correct responses.


  • Wyatt, T. J., Oswalt, S. B., & Ochoa, Y. (2017). Mental Health and Academic Performance of First-Year College Students. International Journal of Higher Education, 6(3), 178-187. Retrieved from http://myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/docview/1969017674?accountid=1477
  • Luca, S. M., Franklin, C., Yueqi, Y., Johnson, S., & Brownson, C. (2016). The Relationship Between Suicide Ideation, Behavioral Health, and College Academic Performance. Community Mental Health Journal, 52(5), 534-540. doi: http://dx.doi.org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/10.1007/s10597-016-9987-4
  • Holmes, A., & Silvestri, R. (2016). Rates of Mental Illness and Associated Academic Impacts in Ontario’s College Students. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 31(1), 27-46. doi: http://dx.doi.org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/10.1177/0829573515601396
  • DeSocio, J., & Hootman, J. (2004). Children’s Mental Health and School Success. Journal of School Nursing, 20(4), 189-196. doi: http://dx.doi.org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/10.1177/10598405040200040201
  • Bruffaerts, R., Mortier, P., Kiekens, G., Auerbach, R. P., Cuijpers, P., Demyttenaere, K., . . . Kessler, R. C. (2018). Mental Health Problems in College Freshmen: Prevalence and Academic Functioning. Journal of Affective Disorders, 225, 97-103. doi: http://dx.doi.org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/10.1016/j.jad.2017.07.044
  • DeRoma, V. M., Leach, J. B., & Leverett, J. P. (2009). The Relationship Between Depression and College Academic Performance. College Student Journal, 43(2), 325-334.
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