Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X). This special issue belongs to the section "Educational Psychology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 39291

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze della Salute, Università degli Studi di Firenze, 50135 Firenze, FI, Italy
Interests: psychotherapy research; projective techniques; psychological testing; defense mechanisms; studyholism; workaholism
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Students’ mental health is receiving increasing interest, as research has demonstrated that problematic overstudying is associated with psychological, physical, social, and academic downsides. Moreover, mental health issues—such as depression and anxiety—are spread among university students, negatively impacting their academic performance. However, the literature suggests that these disorders typically have onset before the beginning of college. Hence, it is vital to further analyze the well-being of students across all school levels, aiming to foster their mental health and academic success as well as prevent school dropout, distress, and problematic overstudying behaviors. This analysis is even more critical after the COVID-19 outbreak, which lead to a disturbance of students’ lives and academic paths, potentially negatively impacting their well-being and academic success. 

Hence, through this Special Issue, we prompt research that analyzes the mental health and well-being of students across all school levels, including studies addressing clinical disorders, academic/school burnout, studyholism, study engagement, and other variables that might play a protective or harmful role in students' well-being (e.g., perfectionism, teachers’ and parents' attitudes toward studying). We also welcome review papers and case studies that address students’ well-being and mental health.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in IJERPH.

Dr. Yura Loscalzo
Dr. Marco Giannini
Guest Editors

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Behavioral Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • studyholism
  • study engagement
  • academic burnout
  • school burnout
  • children
  • adolescents
  • youths
  • school
  • college
  • university

Published Papers (21 papers)

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15 pages, 611 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Personality Type D and Coping Strategies on Cognitive Functioning in Students
by Alexey N. Sumin, Ingrid Yu. Prokashko and Anna V. Shcheglova
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(5), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14050382 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 981
Abstract
Introduction: Academic and emotional challenges faced by medical students can affect their psychological well-being and health. Personal characteristics may also predispose one to the manifestation of distress reactions. Individuals with type D personality have an increased tendency to develop depressive reactions and somatic [...] Read more.
Introduction: Academic and emotional challenges faced by medical students can affect their psychological well-being and health. Personal characteristics may also predispose one to the manifestation of distress reactions. Individuals with type D personality have an increased tendency to develop depressive reactions and somatic diseases, including the presence of cognitive dysfunction. In students, the presence of cognitive dysfunction may additionally adversely affect academic and psycho-emotional problems. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of type D personality and coping strategies on cognitive functioning in medical students. Methods: A cross-sectional study included 258 medical students (age 19 ± 1.2 years, 79 men). All participants completed psychological questionnaires (DS-14 to identify type D personality, and The Coping Strategy Indication, CSI—to determine coping strategies), as well as extensive neuropsychological testing of cognitive functions. Results: Among the medical students examined, the frequency of identification of type D personality was 44%. In persons with personality type D, according to psychometric testing, a decrease in the level of functional mobility of nervous processes (FMNP) was noted, which was manifested in an increase in the test completion time (p < 0.001) and an increase in the number of errors (p < 0.001) during the FMNP test, and an increase in the test completion time in the attention concentration test. In addition, in type D participants, an increase in the test execution time during the attention test was noted (p = 0.007). Personality type D was an independent risk factor for cognitive decline in students in multiple linear regression analysis, when type D was analyzed as a dichotomous construct. Conclusions: Assessing personal characteristics and identifying personality type D is advisable for medical students, to develop subsequent programs to increase their resistance to academic challenges, improve cognitive function, and also to prepare for future stress loads during professional activities in the field of healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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19 pages, 920 KiB  
Article
Parental Educational Expectations and Academic Achievement of Left-Behind Children in China: The Mediating Role of Parental Involvement
by Jian Li, Eryong Xue and Huiyuan You
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(5), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14050371 - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1027
Abstract
Migrant workers from rural China often leave their children at home to be raised by grandparents or other family members. This study explored the relationship between parents’ educational expectations, parental involvement, and the academic performance of left-behind children in China. A total of [...] Read more.
Migrant workers from rural China often leave their children at home to be raised by grandparents or other family members. This study explored the relationship between parents’ educational expectations, parental involvement, and the academic performance of left-behind children in China. A total of 19,487 student samples were obtained from the China Education Panel Survey (CEPS), and 5078 of these met the criteria for being considered as ‘left behind’ children. Results indicated: (1) a significant positive correlation between parents’ educational expectations and left-behind children’s academic achievement; (2) parental education involvement plays a partial mediating role between parents’ educational expectations and left-behind children’s academic performance; (3) a significant negative correlation between parental intellectual involvement and educational expectations of left-behind children; (4) parental management involvement was not significantly correlated with parents’ educational expectations and left-behind children’s academic performance; and (5) a significant positive correlation between parental emotional involvement and educational expectations of left-behind children. The findings highlight the important role of parental educational expectations and have implications for the improvement of educational outcomes in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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20 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Do Two Weeks in a Learning Camp after Ninth Grade Make a Difference? Experiences of Demotivated Boys with an Increased Risk of School Dropout
by Gro H. Ramsdal and Rolf Wynn
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(3), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14030189 - 28 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1277
Abstract
School dropout may have important negative consequences for the individual as well as for society. Because school grades in lower secondary education are essential for the completion of upper secondary school, remotivating demotivated ninth graders with an increased risk of dropping out seems [...] Read more.
School dropout may have important negative consequences for the individual as well as for society. Because school grades in lower secondary education are essential for the completion of upper secondary school, remotivating demotivated ninth graders with an increased risk of dropping out seems vital. This study focuses on the experiences of Norwegian ninth grade boys at a learning camp aimed at preventing school dropout through increasing school engagement, learning, and well-being before tenth grade. We interviewed 17 of the 29 participants in one particular camp to study their experiences and analyze how they were related to the theoretical underpinning of the camp. The participants described the learning camp as a motivation boost, focusing on experiences with academic progress and increased self-regulation, factors aligning with central theoretical underpinnings of the intervention. The participants placed “connecting with others”, as in peers and teachers, among the top two factors that contributed to their re-motivation, well-being, and academic progress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
11 pages, 380 KiB  
Article
Mental Health Disparities among Pre-Clinical Medical Students at Saint Louis University during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Won Jong Chwa, Albert C. Chong, Sheryl Lin, Erin H. Su, Chantal Sheridan, Jacob Schreiber, Stephanie K. Zia and Keniesha Thompson
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14020089 - 26 Jan 2024
Viewed by 951
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minorities. Medical students were also particularly impacted as they coped with increased stressors due to delayed medical training and a high prevalence of mental health conditions. This study investigates mental health disparities of underrepresented in [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minorities. Medical students were also particularly impacted as they coped with increased stressors due to delayed medical training and a high prevalence of mental health conditions. This study investigates mental health disparities of underrepresented in medicine (URM) students at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine (SLUSOM). An anonymous online survey was distributed to first- and second-year medical students at SLUSOM in February 2021. The survey queried demographic information, lifestyle factors, and pandemic-related and institutional concerns. Mental health was assessed via the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Statistical tests were run with SPSS, version 27. A convenience sample of 87 students responded to the survey. Students who were categorized as URM were significantly more likely to be at risk of major depressive disorder during the pandemic. Concern about a lack of financial support was significantly greater among students categorized as URM. Concerns regarding a lack of financial support, mental health support, and decreased quality of medical training significantly predicted PHQ-9 scores. Our findings revealed several key factors that may exacerbate mental health disparities among URM students during the pandemic. Providing adequate financial and academic resources for URMs may improve mental health outcomes for similar adverse events in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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16 pages, 881 KiB  
Article
Predicting Risk of Bullying Victimization among Primary and Secondary School Students: Based on a Machine Learning Model
by Tian Qiu, Sizhe Wang, Di Hu, Ningning Feng and Lijuan Cui
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14010073 - 20 Jan 2024
Viewed by 2037
Abstract
School bullying among primary and secondary school students has received increasing attention, and identifying relevant factors is a crucial way to reduce the risk of bullying victimization. Machine learning methods can help researchers predict and identify individual risk behaviors. Through a machine learning [...] Read more.
School bullying among primary and secondary school students has received increasing attention, and identifying relevant factors is a crucial way to reduce the risk of bullying victimization. Machine learning methods can help researchers predict and identify individual risk behaviors. Through a machine learning approach (i.e., the gradient boosting decision tree model, GBDT), the present longitudinal study aims to systematically examine individual, family, and school environment factors that can predict the risk of bullying victimization among primary and secondary school students a year later. A total of 2767 participants (2065 secondary school students, 702 primary school students, 55.20% female students, mean age at T1 was 12.22) completed measures of 24 predictors at the first wave, including individual factors (e.g., self-control, gender, grade), family factors (family cohesion, parental control, parenting style), peer factor (peer relationship), and school factors (teacher–student relationship, learning capacity). A year later (i.e., T2), they completed the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire. The GBDT model predicted whether primary and secondary school students would be exposed to school bullying after one year by training a series of base learners and outputting the importance ranking of predictors. The GBDT model performed well. The GBDT model yielded the top 6 predictors: teacher–student relationship, peer relationship, family cohesion, negative affect, anxiety, and denying parenting style. The protective factors (i.e., teacher–student relationship, peer relationship, and family cohesion) and risk factors (i.e., negative affect, anxiety, and denying parenting style) associated with the risk of bullying victimization a year later among primary and secondary school students are identified by using a machine learning approach. The GBDT model can be used as a tool to predict the future risk of bullying victimization for children and adolescents and to help improve the effectiveness of school bullying interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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21 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
Asian American University Students’ Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study
by Jacqueline Hwang, Yi Ding, Cixin Wang, Eric Chen, Ying Wu and Xiaoyan Hu
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14010034 - 3 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1450
Abstract
In addition to the unprecedented challenges and stressors that university students faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian American students experienced specific hardships due to COVID-19-associated xenophobic attitudes, harassment, and assault against people of Asian complexions. This qualitative study aimed to explore the ways [...] Read more.
In addition to the unprecedented challenges and stressors that university students faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian American students experienced specific hardships due to COVID-19-associated xenophobic attitudes, harassment, and assault against people of Asian complexions. This qualitative study aimed to explore the ways in which Asian American university students’ experiences during the pandemic changed their views of their identities as Asian Americans by analyzing in-depth interviews of four case study participants. Secondary analysis of two waves of interviews, which were conducted during the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and during a six-month follow-up, and primary analysis of a newly conducted third wave one year after the initial outbreak yielded 12 themes that captured the essence of the Asian American university students’ experience and redefining of their identity during the pandemic. The four participants identified these themes across four categories: Experiences and Events during the Pandemic; Categorization of Asians in America; Confronting Asian Discrimination; and Renewed Sense of Identity. The longitudinal findings revealed direct experiences and perspectives regarding the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on Asian communities, as well as the impact of the various social and political events during this time period, such as the Black Lives Matter Movement (2020) and the 2020 US presidential election. The implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
21 pages, 1785 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Mindful Learning on Subjective and Psychological Well-Being in Postgraduate Students
by Qing Wang, Yuanyuan Zhang, Ying Zhang and Tingwei Chen
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(12), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13121009 - 10 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1879
Abstract
Mindful learning is widely known to improve learning outcomes, yet its association with students’ well-being remains unexplored. This study aimed to investigate the impact of mindful learning on subjective well-being (SWB) and psychological well-being (PWB) in postgraduate students, using survey questionnaires and a [...] Read more.
Mindful learning is widely known to improve learning outcomes, yet its association with students’ well-being remains unexplored. This study aimed to investigate the impact of mindful learning on subjective well-being (SWB) and psychological well-being (PWB) in postgraduate students, using survey questionnaires and a randomized experimental design. In Study 1, correlation and regression analyses based on 236 postgraduate students revealed significant positive associations among mindful learning, SWB, and PWB. In Study 2, 54 students were randomly assigned to three groups: the experimental (which received Mindful Learning Coaching), active-, and blank control groups. The results from repeated-measures ANOVA showed that coaching significantly improved students’ mindful learning. The participants’ SWB and PWB significantly decreased in both the active- and blank control groups, whilst their SWB and PWB tended to increase in the experimental group. In conclusion, mindful learning, SWB, and PWB are significantly correlated, while the enhancement of mindful learning may be a protective factor in students’ well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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16 pages, 325 KiB  
Article
The Emotional State of Second-Language Learners in a Research Writing Course: Do Academic Orientation and Major Matter?
by Maura A. E. Pilotti, Arifi Waked, Khadija El Alaoui, Samia Kort and Omar J. Elmoussa
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 919; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13110919 - 10 Nov 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1197
Abstract
This study examined whether differences exist in the emotional state of students whose approach to undergraduate courses is either preferentially learning-oriented or grade-oriented. It focused on an understudied population of female college students of Saudi Arabian descent who were enrolled in a challenging [...] Read more.
This study examined whether differences exist in the emotional state of students whose approach to undergraduate courses is either preferentially learning-oriented or grade-oriented. It focused on an understudied population of female college students of Saudi Arabian descent who were enrolled in a challenging writing course. Their emotional state was assessed both globally, through the appraisal of their degree of happiness, and locally, through the appraisal of their writing anxiety (a task-specific emotional state). The study contributed to the extant literature by examining whether the association between goal orientation and emotional state, which is predicted by goal orientation theory, could be found in the selected understudied student population. Results illustrate differences between STEM and non-STEM learners. For STEM students, a grade orientation was associated with declining self-reported happiness and increasing writing anxiety. In contrast, for both STEM and non-STEM students, a learning orientation was associated with increasing happiness and declining writing anxiety. Differences existed in the particular type of writing anxiety that was experienced by STEM and non-STEM students. These findings suggest that interventions for students who are struggling academically may need to address personal dispositions if such interventions are to foster subjective well-being (including positive emotions). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
14 pages, 271 KiB  
Article
‘Days of Frustration’: A Qualitative Study of Adolescents’ Thoughts and Experiences of Schooling after Early Dropout
by Karl Ottar Ottosen, Charlotte Bjørnskov Goll, Rolf Wynn and Tore Sørlie
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13110894 - 29 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2831
Abstract
School dropout increases the risk of unemployment, health problems, and disability benefits. Employing an ecological-developmental perspective, we analyzed the interviews of thirteen students from a peripheral Norwegian county, aiming to explore the possible influence of upbringing and schooling on dropout. The analysis revealed [...] Read more.
School dropout increases the risk of unemployment, health problems, and disability benefits. Employing an ecological-developmental perspective, we analyzed the interviews of thirteen students from a peripheral Norwegian county, aiming to explore the possible influence of upbringing and schooling on dropout. The analysis revealed that dropout was associated with an unstable family situation, lack of structure in everyday life, unresolved complex learning difficulties, bullying, and a tough existence in a rented room. The participants conveyed a sense of defeat, frustration, and an absence of meaningful alternatives. However, two participants had actively chosen to discontinue their education; this was because they preferred work practice to allow them time to mature and re-orientate in relation to future educational and career choices. Their families and social networks contributed actively to the implementation of their future plans. The findings point to the importance of studying interventions that may prevent school dropout, and that address central factors in the process of school dropout, such as social support, academic achievement, and parental involvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
13 pages, 614 KiB  
Article
Socioeconomic Status and Students’ Mental Health during the COVID-19 University Closure: Mediating Roles of Perceived Social Support and Self-Efficacy
by Liang Huang and Dongsheng Wang
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13100871 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2988
Abstract
Despite the need for urgent actions in response to the exacerbated inequalities in mental health resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there remains a significant gap in research into the relationships and underlying mechanisms between socioeconomic status (SES) and various mental health outcomes among [...] Read more.
Despite the need for urgent actions in response to the exacerbated inequalities in mental health resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there remains a significant gap in research into the relationships and underlying mechanisms between socioeconomic status (SES) and various mental health outcomes among students during the COVID-19 university closure. With a sample of 839 students from a university in Lanzhou, the capital city of China’s Gansu Province, which was closed during the 2022 autumn semester due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this study examined the relationships between SES and both the negative and positive mental health outcomes, with a particular inquiry into the mediating roles of perceived social support and self-efficacy. The results show that SES had significant and negative total associations with psychological distress (β = −0.119, p < 0.001) and loneliness (β = −0.132, p < 0.001), while having significant and positive total associations with life satisfaction (β = 0.90, p < 0.01) and affective well-being (β = 0.108, p < 0.01). Moreover, perceived social support and self-efficacy independently and sequentially mediated the associations between SES and various mental health outcomes. Research implications for the design and improvement of university measures to reduce the socioeconomic inequalities in students’ mental health are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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11 pages, 562 KiB  
Article
Mediating Role of PERMA Wellbeing in the Relationship between Insomnia and Psychological Distress among Nursing College Students
by Qian Sun, Xiangyu Zhao, Yiming Gao, Di Zhao and Meiling Qi
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13090764 - 14 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
Background: Psychological distress is an important mental health problem in college students. Insomnia may be a major factor contributing to psychological distress. This study aimed to explore the indirect relationship between insomnia and psychological distress through the five PERMA wellbeing variables (i.e., positive [...] Read more.
Background: Psychological distress is an important mental health problem in college students. Insomnia may be a major factor contributing to psychological distress. This study aimed to explore the indirect relationship between insomnia and psychological distress through the five PERMA wellbeing variables (i.e., positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning in life, and achievement) among nursing college students. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in China using an online survey design. Mediation analyses were examined using the PROCESS macro version 4.1 for SPSS 27.0. A total of 1741 nursing college students completed the online survey. Results: Insomnia was positively associated with psychological distress (p < 0.01, r = 0.673), while negative associations were detected between PERMA wellbeing variables and insomnia (p < 0.01, r range = −0.176 and −0.272), as well as psychological distress (p < 0.01, r range = −0.196 and −0.386). The association between insomnia and psychological distress was partially mediated by the participants’ positive emotions (indirect effect = 0.137, SE = 0.024, 95% CI boot = [0.094, 0.188]), engagement (indirect effect = −0.033, SE = 0.010, 95% CI boot = [−0.054, −0.017]), and meaning in life (indirect effect = 0.027, SE = 0.014, 95% CI boot = [0.001, 0.055]) but not their relationships or achievement of the PERMA wellbeing variables. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that the PERMA wellbeing variables, especially positive emotions, engagement, and meaning in life, could be potential mechanisms by which insomnia is associated with psychological distress. The mediating roles of PERMA wellbeing variables between insomnia and psychological distress could be incorporated into the health management of university administrations to promote the health and wellbeing of nursing college students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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18 pages, 1054 KiB  
Article
A Person-Centered Analysis of Meaning in Life, Purpose Orientations, and Attitudes toward Life among Chinese Youth
by Hong Wang, Xiaosong Gai and Songliang Li
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13090748 - 7 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1258
Abstract
Background: Meaning in life, purpose orientations, and attitudes toward life have a significant impact on youths’ well-being. The purpose of this study is to investigate the developmental trends of youths’ meaning in life, purpose orientations, and attitudes toward life. Methods: The [...] Read more.
Background: Meaning in life, purpose orientations, and attitudes toward life have a significant impact on youths’ well-being. The purpose of this study is to investigate the developmental trends of youths’ meaning in life, purpose orientations, and attitudes toward life. Methods: The sample consisted of 94,219 students aged 13 to 23 years (M = 16.67, SD = 2.70). Person-centered analysis, MANOVA, and an independent sample t-test were used to analyze the data. Results: Most youths were in the “search” or “presence” type in terms of meaning in life status. Fewer students were identified as being in the “ruminative exploration” or “diffusion” type. Very few were in the “precontemplation” or “foreclosure” stages. The status of the sense of meaning did not change significantly with age. Second, in terms of purpose orientations, Chinese youths consider family well-being and personal growth to be the most important goals, whereas personal well-being and social promotion are less important. Third, in terms of attitudes toward life, most young people take an active, accepting, and optimistic view of their lives, seeing life as an experience or process, rather than a good or bad result. Fourthly, the age of 16 was found to be a significant turning point. More emerging adults were in the “presence” state than adolescents, but their attitudes toward life were not as positive as those of adolescents. Conclusions: This study reveals that Chinese youth consider the question of meaning in life as early as age 13. Most of them were in the state of “searching for meaning”. Therefore, education about meaning in life should be integrated into the primary school context. Family well-being is emphasized by Chinese youth because of the collectivist culture. Family well-being and personal growth should be recognized, and social promotion should be enhanced in guidance of Chinese youth’s meaning acquisition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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14 pages, 1090 KiB  
Article
Effective Coping with Academic Stress Is a Matter of Personality Types: Revisiting the Person-Centred Approach
by Cristina Varo, María del Mar Aires-González, María García-Jiménez, María Eva Trigo and Francisco Javier Cano-García
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13080687 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 2980
Abstract
Recent literature provides alarming data on the increase in university academic stress. The role of personality in understanding and addressing this problem is well established. However, this evidence could be improved by adopting a person-centred approach (e.g., types), as opposed to the usual [...] Read more.
Recent literature provides alarming data on the increase in university academic stress. The role of personality in understanding and addressing this problem is well established. However, this evidence could be improved by adopting a person-centred approach (e.g., types), as opposed to the usual variable-centred approach (e.g., traits), and considering the role of gender. Our aim was to explore how personality types and gender relate to coping strategies and perceived coping efficacy for academic stress. A total of 810 university psychology students completed the NEO-FFI Inventory and the Coping Strategies Inventory. Post hoc tests for MANOVA and ANOVA were performed. Types and gender were used as predictors and coping strategies, and perceived coping efficacy as criteria. There was no type-gender interaction. Types combining low neuroticism-high conscientiousness (e.g., entrepreneur) chose the most adaptive coping strategies and showed the highest levels of perceived coping efficacy, while high neuroticism-low conscientiousness types (e.g., insecure) opted for maladaptive coping strategies and presented the lowest perceived coping efficacy. Gender was not associated with perceived coping efficacy but with use (e.g., women prefer emotional expression). The personality typology provided useful information on individual differences in coping with academic stress, which can help guide specific strategies to manage it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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12 pages, 983 KiB  
Article
Critical Thinking, Generalized Anxiety in Satisfaction with Studies: The Mediating Role of Academic Self-Efficacy in Medical Students
by Elbert Huamán-Tapia, Robinson B. Almanza-Cabe, Liset Z. Sairitupa-Sanchez, Sandra B. Morales-García, Oriana Rivera-Lozada, Alcides Flores-Paredes and Wilter C. Morales-García
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13080665 - 9 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1729
Abstract
Background: The academic and emotional challenges faced by medical students can affect critical thinking and may also contribute to the development of increased generalized anxiety. Similarly, critical thinking and generalized anxiety can impact study satisfaction through the mediating mechanism of academic self-efficacy. Objective: [...] Read more.
Background: The academic and emotional challenges faced by medical students can affect critical thinking and may also contribute to the development of increased generalized anxiety. Similarly, critical thinking and generalized anxiety can impact study satisfaction through the mediating mechanism of academic self-efficacy. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the mediating role of academic self-efficacy between critical thinking and generalized anxiety in study satisfaction among medical students. Methods: A cross-sectional and explanatory study was conducted involving 259 Peruvian medical students aged between 18 and 35 (M = 20.29, SD = 2.84). The evaluation was based on self-reported questionnaires covering critical thinking, generalized anxiety, academic self-efficacy, and study satisfaction. Furthermore, a structural equation modeling (SEM) and mediation approach was employed to examine the relationships between variables. Results: The results showed an adequate fit of the model [χ2 (87) = 155, p < 0.001, CFI = 0.93, TLI = 0.92, RMSEA = 0.05 (CI: 0.04–0.07), SRMR = 0.07], demonstrating the impact of critical thinking and generalized anxiety. It was confirmed that academic self-efficacy has a positive effect on study satisfaction. Moreover, the mediating role of academic self-efficacy was confirmed between critical thinking and study satisfaction, as well as between generalized anxiety and study satisfaction. Conclusions: Due to the high academic load on medical students, academic self-efficacy plays a mediating role in the relationship between critical thinking, generalized anxiety, and satisfaction with studies. The development of educational strategies will help to promote critical thinking and academic self-efficacy, as well as provide support to students with generalized anxiety, to enhance study satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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12 pages, 569 KiB  
Article
Cumulative Trauma and Trauma Symptoms: A Three-Way Interaction
by Fang Xue, Han Na Suh, Kenneth G. Rice and Jeffrey S. Ashby
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13070576 - 11 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3130
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to test if perceived social support and self-compassion will interact to reduce the magnitude of the bivariate relationship (buffering effect) between cumulative trauma and trauma symptoms after controlling for gender and age among college students. As part [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to test if perceived social support and self-compassion will interact to reduce the magnitude of the bivariate relationship (buffering effect) between cumulative trauma and trauma symptoms after controlling for gender and age among college students. As part of a broader research project conducted between 2018 and 2019, we collected data via online surveys from a sample of 551 undergraduate students at a public university in the southern region of the US. After data cleaning, the study included 538 participants (representing 97.6% of the original dataset), ensuring a diverse representation across various ethnicities and genders. The three-way interaction model accounted for 38.61% of the variance in PTSD symptoms. In detail, with high levels of perceived social support, there was a significant difference in the buffering effects of perceived social support on the trauma–PTSD association between high and low self-compassion. Conversely, at high levels of self-compassion, perceived social support did not significantly influence the buffering effect of self-compassion. This study underscores the critical role of self-compassion in enhancing the protective effect of high-level perceived social support against PTSD symptoms following cumulative trauma. Full article
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25 pages, 2983 KiB  
Article
Perceptions of Stakeholders Regarding China’s Special Education and Inclusive Education Legislation, Law, and Policy: Implications for Student Wellbeing and Mental Health
by Ahmed Alduais, Meng Deng and Hind Alfadda
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(6), 515; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13060515 - 19 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1979
Abstract
Laws and policies, no matter how well designed, can fail if they are not implemented correctly. This can occur when there is no interaction between policymakers and those who are working on the ground. The purpose of this study was to determine the [...] Read more.
Laws and policies, no matter how well designed, can fail if they are not implemented correctly. This can occur when there is no interaction between policymakers and those who are working on the ground. The purpose of this study was to determine the understanding of Chinese stakeholders regarding legislation, policy, and law associated with the provision of special education and explore its implications for student wellbeing and mental health. Two questions were posed: (1) Does a stakeholder’s attitude towards legislation, policy, and law regarding special education impact their role or responsibilities? (2) In what ways do stakeholders interact with legislation, laws, and policies regarding special education and their work experience in the field? Using in-depth interviews as the basis for the study, researchers gained valuable insight into how administrators, practitioners, and academics perceive laws and policies. Participants exhibited exaggerated attitudes and over-interpretations of some of these items, which we attribute to partly real factors, as well as nationalistic or patriotic feelings. The evidence included calls for specific laws and policies as well as a switch from a top-down to a bottom-up approach to reform to bridge the disparity between different regions in the country. As the participants agreed, there have also been remarkable achievements in building a more comprehensive and inclusive system over the last decade. However, the gaps between rural and urban areas, primary and middle schools, high schools and vocational schools need to be addressed urgently in specific laws and policies. Addressing these disparities will not only improve the overall quality of special education but also have significant implications for student wellbeing and mental health. By ensuring that all students have access to tailored support and resources, policymakers can foster a more inclusive and supportive environment that promotes positive mental health outcomes for all learners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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14 pages, 688 KiB  
Article
Psychometric Properties of Interpersonal Regulation Questionnaire for Chinese College Students: Gender Differences and Implications for Well-Being
by Yanhua Zhao, Niu Wang, Jiahui Niu, Xingchen Li and Lei Zhang
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(6), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13060507 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1639
Abstract
Intrapersonal emotion dysregulation has been found to be a transdiagnostic predictor in the development of almost all affective disorders. Interpersonal resources are also involved in achieving people’s emotion regulation goals. The Interpersonal Regulation Questionnaire (IRQ) has been developed to assess the tendency and [...] Read more.
Intrapersonal emotion dysregulation has been found to be a transdiagnostic predictor in the development of almost all affective disorders. Interpersonal resources are also involved in achieving people’s emotion regulation goals. The Interpersonal Regulation Questionnaire (IRQ) has been developed to assess the tendency and efficacy of people using external resources to help manage their emotions. Under the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of interpersonal emotion regulation in individuals’ adjustment and well-being remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the optimal factor structure of the IRQ in Chinese culture using an exploratory structural equation modeling approach and to examine the associations between interpersonal emotion regulation, tested by the IRQ, and young people’s intrapersonal emotion dysregulation and social and emotional well-being. The sample consisted of 556 college students aged from 17 to 31 from Mainland China. Factor analyses suggested that the four-factor structure was the optimal model for the current data. Females reported a higher tendency to use external resources to regulate their negative emotions and higher efficacy in regulating negative emotions. The Chinese version of the IRQ (C-IRQ) presented adequate psychometric properties and would be a useful tool for measuring interpersonal emotion regulation behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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Review

Jump to: Research, Other

16 pages, 676 KiB  
Review
A Meta-Analysis of Social Skills Interventions for Preschoolers with or at Risk of Early Emotional and Behavioral Problems
by Xin Dong, Mack D. Burke, Gilbert Ramirez, Zhihong Xu and Lisa Bowman-Perrott
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13110940 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 2117
Abstract
Early social–behavioral intervention that emphasizes social skill training is critical to addressing emotional and behavioral problems in early childhood. In this meta-analysis review, we examined all the social skills intervention studies for preschoolers with, or at risk of, emotional and behavioral problems using [...] Read more.
Early social–behavioral intervention that emphasizes social skill training is critical to addressing emotional and behavioral problems in early childhood. In this meta-analysis review, we examined all the social skills intervention studies for preschoolers with, or at risk of, emotional and behavioral problems using group designs. This review included 25 studies that met the inclusion criteria. The robust variance estimation method was used to calculate the overall effect size of all the included studies, as this method can count for the pre-existing difference between the experiment and control groups. The included studies yielded an overall effect of 0.54 from the 151 effect sizes that were obtained for the 3484 preschool participants. Curriculum, integration, and treatment fidelity were identified as significant moderators of effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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Other

Jump to: Research, Review

13 pages, 269 KiB  
Brief Report
Psychological Characteristics of Students with Passion for Studying
by Paweł Larionow and Agnieszka Gabryś
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14060453 - 28 May 2024
Viewed by 358
Abstract
Passion for studying can be considered a significant factor that promotes well-being and mental health in students. This study aimed to examine whether the psychological characteristics of students with a passion for studying differed from those of students without one. To compare these [...] Read more.
Passion for studying can be considered a significant factor that promotes well-being and mental health in students. This study aimed to examine whether the psychological characteristics of students with a passion for studying differed from those of students without one. To compare these two groups, we used a set of different psychological variables (e.g., academic burnout and vitality), as well as integrated both person-centered (i.e., group comparison research) and variable-centered (i.e., correlational analysis) approaches. During classes, one hundred and fifty-four students from a Polish university completed a comprehensive set of short self-report questionnaires online on different psychological characteristics, including variables related to studying (i.e., passion for studying, academic burnout, and general academic self-efficacy), psychopathology symptoms, perceived stress and somatic complaints, as well as personal resources (vitality, resilience, self-esteem, and optimism). We noted multiple statistically significant differences in psychological characteristics between the two studied groups of students. Thus, harmonious passionate students tended to have more favorable psychological characteristics within variables related to studying, mental or somatic health symptoms, and personal resources compared to the non-passionate students. A harmonious passion for studying seems to have potential health-promoting and health-protecting effects, whereas a lack of passion for studying may lead to less favorable outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
9 pages, 232 KiB  
Brief Report
How Are Different Perfectionism Traits Related to Mental Health in Students?
by Paweł Larionow
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(3), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14030187 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1176
Abstract
Multidimensional models of perfectionism postulate the existence of various perfectionism traits, with different effects on mental health. In order to suggest parsimonious targets in psychological interventions for university students, this study aimed to explore whether, how, and which individual perfectionism traits [...] Read more.
Multidimensional models of perfectionism postulate the existence of various perfectionism traits, with different effects on mental health. In order to suggest parsimonious targets in psychological interventions for university students, this study aimed to explore whether, how, and which individual perfectionism traits are uniquely associated with stress and well-being. The participants were 253 students aged 18–30 who completed the Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale. Controlling for the common variance of perfectionism traits in statistical analysis, it was shown that (1) Personal Standards were associated with higher well-being and lower stress, (2) Concern over Mistakes and Doubts about Actions were related to lower well-being and higher stress, (3) Parental Expectations and Parental Criticism were not correlated with stress, and (4) Parental Criticism was associated with lower well-being. In the multi-predictor mediation model, with five perfectionism traits as predictors, perceived stress was a significant mediator between several perfectionism traits (i.e., Personal Standards, Concern over Mistakes, and Doubts about Actions) and well-being. Overall, Personal Standards, Concern over Mistakes, and Doubts about Actions seem to be parsimonious psychological targets, with Personal Standards expressing mental health-promoting effects, whereas Parental Expectations and Parental Criticism seem to be less important psychological targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
18 pages, 714 KiB  
Systematic Review
Trends and Challenges in the Mental Health of University Students with Disabilities: A Systematic Review
by Patricia Solís García, Sara Real Castelao and Alejandra Barreiro-Collazo
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14020111 - 2 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2119
Abstract
This systematic review examines mental health in university students with disabilities, focusing on increasing prevalence and associated challenges. Following the PRISMA protocol for study selection and analysis, it aims to analyze problem prevalence and risk factors, explore support strategies and available resources, and [...] Read more.
This systematic review examines mental health in university students with disabilities, focusing on increasing prevalence and associated challenges. Following the PRISMA protocol for study selection and analysis, it aims to analyze problem prevalence and risk factors, explore support strategies and available resources, and identify gaps and areas for improvement in care and access to mental health services for disabled university students. This review includes 16 articles that met the established criteria. The findings reveal higher mental health issue prevalence in these students compared to non-disabled peers, highlighting the need for specific, tailored interventions. Improvement areas in general inclusion measures to prevent high-risk situations and intervention responses to discomfort and existing mental health problems are discussed. The importance of a holistic approach to ensure their overall well-being and academic success in an inclusive educational environment is emphasized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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