Researchers believe the unusually low ratings of emotional health are in part due to the economy and stress from the pressures in high school.
Campus counselors say the report mirrors what they are actually seeing: Students who are stressed, depressed and using psychiatric medication that was prescribed to them even before coming to college. The freshmen have watched their parents struggling in the poor economy and worry about their own likelihood of success when they graduate.
“More students are arriving on campus with problems, needing support, and today’s economic factors are putting a lot of extra stress on college students, as they look at their loans and wonder if there will be a career waiting for them on the other side,” said Brian Van Brunt, director of counseling at Western Kentucky University and president of the American College Counseling Association.
The survey “The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010″ collected data from 200,000 incoming full-time students at four-year colleges.