I am a clinical psychologist by training and am interested in the individual and societal impact of disordered eating (principally, eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder). These illnesses are characterised by disturbances in eating behaviour and are associated with high levels of functional impairment and comorbidity with other mental disorders.
As a first year PhD student, jointly funded by the ESRC and MRC, I examining how financial, sociodemographic, and university-related factors may be associated with the mental health of students. In particular, I will measure students’ financial situation, including amount of debt, income, and stress about their finances; demographic variables such as ethnicity and sexual minority status; and characteristics of the university experience such as degree subject, accommodation type and workload. I will look at the relationship between these variables and symptoms of depression and anxiety, and the consequences on academic and help-seeking outcomes.
SMaRteN has just announced its first funding call. We’re looking to support researchers in answering the question what is distinctive about student mental health?
Give it a little thought and you’ll soon find that there are many ways of interpreting this question and many methods that could be applied to answering it. In this blog post, I’d like to talk about one way of looking at the problem – through the lens of economics.
Economics is about understanding how people and organisations make decisions, and what the consequences of those decisions might be. Often, this comes down to weighing up the costs and benefits of alternative courses of action. Here are just a few examples of the types of questions that get economists thinking.
Many staff members at universities are likely to have come across the ‘Perfectionist Student’, or even, the ‘Procrastinating Student’: too fearful to start or submit work they do not believe is ‘good enough’ because it is not quite ‘perfect’. These students frequently struggle with high levels of worry and anxiety and are repeatedly failing to reach their potential because of their over-reliance on achieving their high standards and maladaptive coping strategies.
We are using this blog to help connect stakeholders across Higher Education interested in student mental health. If you have a project you are working on or an idea you'd like to develop, why not write your own blog post for us?