Special Issue "Factors Associated with the Psychological Well-Being of University Students: A Preventive View"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jesús De La Fuente
Website
Guest Editor
School of Education and Psychology, Universidad de Almería, Almería, Spain
Interests: educational psychology; academic emotions, teaching and leaning process; academic stress; R & D project; psychological innovation; univerity students
Dr. Paul Sander
Website
Guest Editor
SSSHL Psychology, Tesside University, Southfield Rd, Middlesbrough TS1 3BX, UK
Interests: educational psychology; academic behaviour confidence; academic emotions; well-being; university students
Prof. Dr. Jose Manuel Martínez-Vicente
Website
Guest Editor
School of Psychology, University of Almería, Almería, Spain
Interests: educational psychology; teaching and leaning process; academic stress; vocational orientation; psychological innovation; university students

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The recent paradigm shift in how educational psychology analyzes the university teaching–learning process is a fact. A former view that focused mainly on cognitive variables has evolved toward the study of students’ personal and emotional variables. For some time, research studies were focused on academic stress as a negative experience that one goes through during this period. There is now plentiful evidence for this phenomenon. However, in recent decades, research has been reoriented towards understanding protective variables in stress, that is, the behavioral characteristics of psychological well-being in university students.

This change, contextualized in Biggs’ 3P model (2001), has brought about a resurgence in research that analyzes students’ motivational-affective characteristics. There is renewed research interest in the possible predictive value of personal presage factors in university students, such as their self-regulation, resilience, and personality characteristics. Also of interest are other process factors such as self-regulated learning, based on the Zimmerman (2001) model; coping strategies for managing stress during learning; or classical learning approaches as a motivational-affective factor; in addition to the study of goal-based motivation, proposed by goal orientation theory. The study of test anxiety has also been expanded to include other achievement emotions, based on the Pekrun model. Finally, the product concept has developed from a one-dimensional concept of achievement to something more flexible (based on competencies) or multidimensional in nature. 

From a complementary approach, context has also received greater recognition and analysis as a factor that predisposes motivational-affective experiences of well-being. From this perspective, one cannot overlook the role of the teacher and the teaching process for predicting and also understanding the university student’s well-being. Thus, SRL vs. ERL theory has promoted the analysis of teacher and student in combination and interaction, producing consistent recent evidence.  The psychological characteristics of the teacher, the way the teaching process is undertaken, and the emotions that it promotes during learning are factors of great current relevance.

Many conceptual and empirical relationships, however, remain to be established. How do all these factors relate to university students’ psychological well-being as a core element of their health? The present Special Issue invites academics and researchers to contribute their work in the form of systematic reviews, empirical contributions, and tested and evidence-based innovations that represent a significant advance in this field of knowledge. Particularly desirable is work from a preventive approach, characteristic of educational psychology. However, other work from a health psychology perspective may also have a place here, in line with the profile of this Journal.

Funding. R&D Project PGC2018-094672-B-I00 (Ministry of Science and Education, Spain), UAL18 SEJ-DO31-A-FEDER (University of Almería, Spain), and the European Social Fund.

Prof. Jesús De La Fuente
Prof. Paul Sander
Prof. Jose Manuel Martínez-Vicente
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • psychological well-being
  • university students
  • preventive view
  • academic stress
  • academic emotions

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Undergraduate Student Gender, Personality and Academic Confidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5567; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155567 - 01 Aug 2020
Abstract
Within a socio-situational and socio-behavioural context, the relationships between the Big Five personality traits and the academic confidence of university students and how they differed by sex of the student was explored. Previous research has identified both conscientiousness and academic confidence as being [...] Read more.
Within a socio-situational and socio-behavioural context, the relationships between the Big Five personality traits and the academic confidence of university students and how they differed by sex of the student was explored. Previous research has identified both conscientiousness and academic confidence as being linked to university performance. In respect of sex, female students have been found to score higher on all of the Big Five measures, whereas the relationship between sex and academic confidence has been mixed. Using self-report measures of personality and academic confidence from 1523 Spanish students, it was found that the female students were more confident in their grades, studying and attendance components of academic confidence and had higher scores for conscientiousness, agreeableness and neuroticism personality measures. A multiple regression analysis found that personality predicts academic confidence, with conscientiousness being the trait that statistically loaded the most strongly. This research further confirms the validity of the Academic Behavioural Confidence scale and suggests that measures of personality and, especially, academic confidence could be usefully used in student support situations to help students acquire the strategies and skills that lead to successful university study. It is suggested that further research in the area needs to include outcome or achievement measures and measures of hypothetical constructs, such as personality and academic confidence, that go beyond self-report measures. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Levels of Self-Regulation and Situational Stress on Achievement Emotions in Undergraduate Students: Class, Study and Testing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4293; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124293 - 16 Jun 2020
Abstract
Achievement emotions constitute one important variable among the many variables of students’ learning. The aim of this research was to analyze the differential effect of university students’ levels of self-regulation (1 = low, 2 = medium and 3 = high), and of their [...] Read more.
Achievement emotions constitute one important variable among the many variables of students’ learning. The aim of this research was to analyze the differential effect of university students’ levels of self-regulation (1 = low, 2 = medium and 3 = high), and of their level of perceived stress in three academic situations (1 = class, 2 = study time and 3 = testing), on the type of achievement emotionality they experience (positive and negative emotions). The following hypotheses were established: (1) a higher level of student self-regulation would be accompanied by higher levels of positive emotionality and lower levels of negative emotionality and (2) a higher level of situational stress would predispose higher levels of negative emotionality and lower levels of positive emotionality. A total of 520 university students completed three self-reports with validated inventories. Descriptive, correlational, and structural prediction analyses (SEM) were performed, as well as 3 × 3 ANOVAs, under an ex post facto design by selection. The results showed overall fulfillment of the hypotheses, except for a few specific emotions. Implications for prevention and psychoeducational guidance in the sphere of university education are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Psychological Distress among College Students: Role of Food Insecurity and Other Social Determinants of Mental Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4118; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114118 - 09 Jun 2020
Abstract
Food insecurity is a major social determinant of health and an assessment of how it may impact college students’ mental health is imperative, as well as differential associations by self-identified gender. A cross-sectional survey was used among college students of a mid-size minority-serving [...] Read more.
Food insecurity is a major social determinant of health and an assessment of how it may impact college students’ mental health is imperative, as well as differential associations by self-identified gender. A cross-sectional survey was used among college students of a mid-size minority-serving institution with a final sample size of 302 participants aged 18 years or above. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariable regressions were conducted, by gender, to assess the role of food insecurity (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) six-item questionnaire), on mental health outcomes (Kessler-6 scale and self-perception). All the statistical analyses were conducted in SPSS version 24 (IBM, Corp.; Armonk, NY, USA) with an alpha less than 0.05 used to denote significance. Among those with food insecurity, the odds of reporting psychological distress (odds ratio (OR) = 3.645, p < 0.05) and an average to very poor self-perceived mental health status (OR = 2.687, p <0.05) were higher compared to their food-secure counterparts, with the results consistent in a gender-specific analysis as well. Compared to men, however, women had higher odds of psychological distress (OR = 2.280, p < 0.05), as well as reporting average to very poor self-perceived mental health statuses (OR = 2.700, p < 0.05). Among women, any alcohol use in the past 12 months (OR = 2.505, p < 0.05) and a low self-perceived physical health status (OR = 3.601, p < 0.05) were associated with an average to very poor self-perceived mental health status. Among men, a low perceived physical health status was associated with higher odds of psychological distress (OR = 3.477, p < 0.05). The results of our study highlight that food insecurity should be considered a social determinant of mental health wellbeing. In addition, gender-specific trends in mental health highlight the need for targeted interventions for prevention and treatment. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Big Five, Self-Regulation, and Coping Strategies as Predictors of Achievement Emotions in Undergraduate Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3602; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103602 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The study focused on the analysis of linear relations between personality, self-regulation, coping strategies and achievement emotions. The main objective was to establish a model of linear, empirical, associative to infer needs and proposals for intervening in emotional health in the different profiles [...] Read more.
The study focused on the analysis of linear relations between personality, self-regulation, coping strategies and achievement emotions. The main objective was to establish a model of linear, empirical, associative to infer needs and proposals for intervening in emotional health in the different profiles of university students. A total of 642 undergraduate students participated in this research. Evidence of associative relations between personality factors, self-regulation and coping strategies was found. The neuroticism factor had a significant negative associative relationship with Self-Regulation both globally and in its factors; especially important was its negative relation to decision making, and coping strategies focused in emotion. The results of Structural Equation Model showed an acceptable model of relationships, in each emotional context. Results and practical implications are discussed. Full article
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