College Freshmen Find Life Increasingly Depressing

In a recent large survey of American college freshmen, the fraction reporting they had frequently felt depressed during the past year was 56% greater than the corresponding fraction 5 years earlier. In other words, the fraction reporting frequently feeling depressed rose from 6.1% to 9.5%. The fraction who reported that they “felt overwhelmed” by schoolwork rose from 27.1% to 34.6%.

According to Dr. Anthony Rostain, co-chairman of a task force on student emotional health at the University of Pennsylvania,“We’re expecting more of students: There’s a sense of having to compete in a global economy, and they think they have to be on top of their game all the time. It’s no wonder they feel overwhelmed.

For more details, see More College Freshmen Report Having Felt Depressed by Alan Schwarz (NYT, Feb. 5, 2015).