Event Title

Effects of Mental Health Socializtion in Undergraduate Students

Poster Number

084

Faculty Mentor

Matthew Hayes, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

Start Date

12-4-2019 2:15 PM

End Date

April 2019

Description

An estimated 50% of undergraduate students meet the criteria for some mental illness, a factor that has been shown to significantly affect college retention rates. Most research has focused on proximal factors (e.g., parental emotional response and coping skills in childhood); there is a lack of research on distal factors, such as parental socialization about mental illness during childhood, on coping skills in early adulthood. We hypothesize that negative parental beliefs about mental illness will have an effect on student coping skills, and that parental beliefs about mental illness will be similar to student beliefs about mental illness. Undergraduate students from Winthrop University (N = 111) completed a survey examining their coping skills, their attitudes about mental illness, and their parents’ attitudes about mental illness. The coping skills were examined using factor analysis and revealed approach and avoidance factors. Parent attitudes were related to student coping skills; however, student attitudes were not related to their coping skills. In general, students whose parents have more negative beliefs about mental illness are more likely to cope by distancing themselves from their problems, and students whose parents have more positive beliefs about mental illness are more likely to cope by confronting their problems and using support. These results suggest that parental influence extends well into early adulthood and calls into question current mental health interventions that rely solely on student attitudes.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, Florida, March 2019

Course Assignment

PSYC 302 – Hayes

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Apr 12th, 2:15 PM Apr 12th, 4:15 PM

Effects of Mental Health Socializtion in Undergraduate Students

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

An estimated 50% of undergraduate students meet the criteria for some mental illness, a factor that has been shown to significantly affect college retention rates. Most research has focused on proximal factors (e.g., parental emotional response and coping skills in childhood); there is a lack of research on distal factors, such as parental socialization about mental illness during childhood, on coping skills in early adulthood. We hypothesize that negative parental beliefs about mental illness will have an effect on student coping skills, and that parental beliefs about mental illness will be similar to student beliefs about mental illness. Undergraduate students from Winthrop University (N = 111) completed a survey examining their coping skills, their attitudes about mental illness, and their parents’ attitudes about mental illness. The coping skills were examined using factor analysis and revealed approach and avoidance factors. Parent attitudes were related to student coping skills; however, student attitudes were not related to their coping skills. In general, students whose parents have more negative beliefs about mental illness are more likely to cope by distancing themselves from their problems, and students whose parents have more positive beliefs about mental illness are more likely to cope by confronting their problems and using support. These results suggest that parental influence extends well into early adulthood and calls into question current mental health interventions that rely solely on student attitudes.