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Increased Prevalence of Emotional Disorders in University Students - A Ten Years Long Survey

26 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2019

See all articles by Rong Zhang

Rong Zhang

Northwest University (China) - Brain & Behavior Research Center; Harvard University - Division of Endocrinology

Jiang Chang

Northwest University (China) - Brain & Behavior Research Center

Xiangqiang Zhang

Northwest University (China)

Jia Li

Northwest University (China)

Keqing Cao

Northwest University (China) - Brain & Behavior Research Center

Xia Zhang

Northwest University (China) - Brain & Behavior Research Center

Yi Wang

Northwest University (China) - Brain & Behavior Research Center

More...

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

Background: The emotional disorders in youths represent a major societal problem which has strikingly raised high public demand to identify more effective preventative and therapeutic strategies to resolve the problem. However, the key characteristics related to youth mental disorders such as their psycho-social behavior patterns and emotional responsivity still remains largely unknown. This paper reports the mental health status in university students.

Methods: From 2006, we deployed a sequential survey for mental disorders in 63,118 university students who were screened by clinically validated scales in Chinese version at initial stage. The screening positive students were individually interviewed by two social consultants independently. The role of the gender, family economics, grownup places, and school life were investigated for identifying the possible biological and social factors involved in the mental vulnerability. Data were collected and analyzed without population selection.

Findings: The prevalence of mental disorders in university students increased 2-3 times compare to their fellows 10 years ago (6.48% in 2007 compared to the 13.6% in 2017 in graduate students; 3.78% in 2007 to 10.96% in 2017 in undergraduate students). Gender difference was not observed. The attitudes to school majors and families' economic status are the main factors related to the students' mental health.

Interpretation: Our data provide the first hand evidences for understanding the dynamic changes of mental disorders in youth. The identified social-psycho factors in mental health would offer us some valuable clues for improving current practical prevention measures, thus, to alleviate the severe burden of mental disorders on campus. Our survey showed lower prevalence compared to these email or social medial-recruited survey.

Funding: University Students' Health Fund, Institutional Innovation Fund, the Institutional Start-Up Fund, NNSFC31271095.

Declaration of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval: The screening was approved by the Ethical Committee of the NorthWest University. All procedures involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or similar ethical standards.

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Rong and Chang, Jiang and Zhang, Xiangqiang and Li, Jia and Cao, Keqing and Zhang, Xia and Wang, Yi, Increased Prevalence of Emotional Disorders in University Students - A Ten Years Long Survey (September 23, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3458508 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3458508

Rong Zhang (Contact Author)

Northwest University (China) - Brain & Behavior Research Center ( email )

China

Harvard University - Division of Endocrinology ( email )

Boston, MA
United States

Jiang Chang

Northwest University (China) - Brain & Behavior Research Center

China

Xiangqiang Zhang

Northwest University (China)

229 Taibai North Rd
Beilin
Xian, Shaanxi
China

Jia Li

Northwest University (China)

229 Taibai North Rd
Beilin
Xian, Shaanxi
China

Keqing Cao

Northwest University (China) - Brain & Behavior Research Center

China

Xia Zhang

Northwest University (China) - Brain & Behavior Research Center

China

Yi Wang

Northwest University (China) - Brain & Behavior Research Center

China

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