Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Students With Depression Twice As Likely To Drop Out Of College

Date:
July 7, 2009
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
College students with depression are twice as likely as their classmates to drop out of school, new research shows.

College students with depression are twice as likely as their classmates to drop out of school, new research shows.

Related Articles


However, the research also indicates that lower grade point averages depended upon a student's type of depression, according to Daniel Eisenberg, assistant professor in the University of Michigan School of Public Health and principal investigator of the study.

There are two core symptoms of depression---loss of interest and pleasure in activities, or depressed mood---but only loss of interest is associated with lower grade point averages.

"The correlation between depression and academic performance is mainly driven by loss of interest in activities," Eisenberg said. "This is significant because it means individuals can be very depressed and very functional, depending on which type of depression they have. I think that this can be true for many high achieving people, who may feel down and hopeless but not lose interest in activities.

"Lots of students who have significant depression on some dimension are performing just fine, but may be at risk and go unnoticed because there is no noticeable drop in functioning."

Students with both depression and anxiety had especially poor academic performance.

"If you take a student at the 50th percentile of the GPA distribution and compare them to a student with depression alone, the depressed student would be around the 37th percentile---a 13 percent drop," Eisenberg said. "However, a student with depression and anxiety plummets to about the 23rd percentile, a 50 percent drop."

In the study, Eisenberg and his colleagues conducted a Web survey of a random sample of approximately 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students about a range of mental health issues in fall 2005, and conducted a follow-up survey with a subset of the sample in fall 2007.

The dropout rate for University of Michigan students is about 5 percent per year, which is much lower than the national average, Eisenberg says. This likely reflects the type of high-achieving students Michigan attracts, along with U-M's support network for students experiencing emotional problems or depression.

"Michigan does seem to be a leader in many respects in terms of things the university has done related to student mental health," said Eisenberg, who noted that the next step in the research is a large scale study. "I see this study as suggesting that there is value in a large randomized trial of screening and treating depressed students, in which the academic outcomes are measured carefully. That's what it will take to really see what the value is in reducing the dropout rate and improving GPA. As far as I know this has not been done."

Many students with depression---as with the general population---remain untreated.

"Maybe the biggest reason is only about 50 percent of people with depression say they think they need help," Eisenberg said. "College students in particular may feel that stress is normal."

According to Eisenberg's research, certain types of students have higher levels of stigma. Males, students from lower-income backgrounds and Asian students, in particular, report higher levels of stigma about mental health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel Eisenberg, Ezra Golberstein and Justin Hunt. Mental Health and Academic Success in College. B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, (in press)

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Students With Depression Twice As Likely To Drop Out Of College." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090706161302.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2009, July 7). Students With Depression Twice As Likely To Drop Out Of College. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090706161302.htm
University of Michigan. "Students With Depression Twice As Likely To Drop Out Of College." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090706161302.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins