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Research Proposal

Posted on March 8, 2018


In 2009, a nationwide survey of college students at 2- and 4-year universities by the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) reported that about 30 percent of college students reported feeling “so depressed that it was difficult to function” within the past year. That is about 3 out of 10 students. This may seem insignificant, however, considering that depressed students are more likely to smoke, have trouble with their grades, engage in unsafe sex, and report feelings of suicide, this statistic is alarming. Plenty of research demonstrates how depression affects college students but how does college play a role in depression in some students?  Is it possible that college itself is a contributing factor in depression amongst students or a factor that makes it harder to handle?

Rationale: I chose this topic because I am a college student who deals with depression and anxiety. For someone like me, I would definitely say at the very least that college makes it harder to manage my depression on my own. I also suspect that the sleepless nights I endured due to my rigorous major could be contributing to the problem. Because of my own personal experience, I am curious as to how this may affect other students.

Research Plans: There are lots of statistics to show how depression affects college students but I need to find research showing how the stress of college may affect students prone to depression. There are also a few studies that show that taking a gap year may benefit college students, indicating that for some students, a break is what they need.

Implications: This topic matters because it deals with how our institutions could be contributing to a significant problem amongst our students. Maybe this discussion can stir ideas on how to deal with the problem of depression more effectively in students, or how to alleviate depression in students in college.

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