Study Links Student’s Mental Health and Chosen Area of Study

A recent study established a link between the increased risk of mental health problems in children and chosen areas of study. This can even result in students beginning their college or university life with pre-existing mental health problems. In this study, the link between students’ mental health and their chosen area of study was discussed.

Importance of Mental Health in Students

Mental health is important for all of us, no matter what age or gender we belong to. Poor mental health can harm us in so many ways.

Mental health is equally important for school-going children. Children’s mental health is not considered important or taken seriously in most cases which increases the number of these cases every single day. I remember my sister used to suffer from anxiety problems as a school-going child. We got a complaint from her school teacher after that we booked her appointment with a renowned psychologist from Healthwire who managed to treat her after several sessions.

For all these reasons, it is important to focus on children’s mental health. A part of this comes from identifying the factors that can result in poor mental health among students. Here are some of the contributors to poor mental health in children:

  • Suffering from long-term illness
  • Frequent changes in the environment
  • Living in a home where violence is a common practice
  • Being bullied or abused (both physical and verbal)
  • Losing their loved ones
  • Seeing their parents getting separated or divorced

All of these factors are the major reasons why children are suffering from mental health problems. It is important to know that poor mental health not only impacts their mental health but also affects their academic performance, social interactions, and overall development. A recent study highlighted another important cause of poor mental health in children which was the choice of academic field. Let’s know more about this in the section below.

Poor Mental Health and Chosen Area of Study – What’s the Connection?

The study was conducted by researchers from Ulster University (UU) and Atlantic Technological University (ATU) Letterkenny. The study findings revealed that there could be some connection between an increased risk of mental health problems and students’ choice of a study area.

During this study, the data from 1829 first-year students were collected who were enrolled in undergraduate programs. This study was a part of the Student Psychological Intervention Trial that was conducted across four different campuses of Ulster University in Ireland and Atlantic Technological University in County Donegal.

In this questionnaire-based study, detailed questions addressed a wide range of health problems including mood, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, substance consumption problems, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Other than this, there were questions on suicidal thoughts and behaviour problems as well as counselling and medication for the treatment of these problems.

What Did the Study Reveal?

The findings of the study revealed that there was a significant difference between chosen courses and the reported rate of mental health problems like depression, bipolar disorder, social anxiety, ADHD, and suicidal tendency.

These study findings made us believe that some students may start their university with their existing mental health problems but some courses had more students suffering from mental health problems than others courses.

The possible reason behind this could be that some courses tend to attract students who are more prone to develop mental health problems. These choices of specific courses further predispose the students to poorer mental health.

The study’s findings further break down the choices of courses among students. According to the findings, students who opted for fields like medicine, biomedical sciences, and physiotherapy have the lowest rate of suffering from any mental health problems. Further, the rates of panic disorders and social anxiety were highest among the students who opted for courses like psychology.

This even goes for the trend of seeking help among students. Students from the psychology department believed that seeking help would harm their careers while computing students were least likely to think this way.

Bottom Line!

A recently published study indicated the link between the increased chances of mental health problems in children and their career choices. This is because students had a natural tendency to make career choices resonating with their thought processes. This can further influence their choice of seeking help while suffering from a mental illness.