A NY Times article published on January 26, 2011 highlights a new and rising trend amongst American college freshmen – record levels of stress. The study involved more than 200,000 incoming freshmen to 4-year colleges and universities.
The report showed that only 52% consider themselves to have “above average” emotional health. In 1985, the percentage was 64%. Additionally, women across the board have a lower view of themselves and the gap is getting wider.
Counselors say that they are increasingly seeing numbers of students who are depressed, stressed and therefore taking medication, or who are medicated before even arriving on campus.
The contributing factors appear to be:
- The economy (early stress to pick the right career)
- Responsibilities during their senior year of high school (39% of females vs 18% of males)
- Gender pressures (males to be stoic and “manly”, female desires for affirmation from professors)