Who's Distressed? Not Only Law Students: Psychological Distress Level in University Students Across Diverse Fields of Study
Sydney Law Review, Vol. 37, No. 2, 2015
33 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 7, 2016
Empirical studies consistently find that law students report high levels of psychological distress. But are law students at heightened risk among their university peers? The few available comparative studies suggest that law students may experience higher levels of psychological distress than their counterparts in medical degrees. However, data are scarce that compare the distress levels of students in law with students in non-medical programs. The study reported here addressed that gap by comparing the prevalence of psychological distress among law students and non-law students undertaking diverse academic programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The findings show that a significant proportion of students in diverse fields and at all levels of study reported high levels of psychological distress. Moreover, the law students’ odds of reporting severe symptoms of psychological distress were not the highest on any of the measures used. Overall, the findings suggest that law students are not alone among university students in experiencing high levels of psychological distress. We discuss the implications of this finding for current efforts to address student wellbeing in legal education.
Keywords: empirical studies, law students, psychological distress
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation