Mental Health and Well-being in the Transition to University

Mental Health and Well-being in the Transition to University

Categories: Healthy Workplace, Homecoming | Intended for , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM | Add to calendar

608 Robertson Hall

1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON

Contact Information

Samantha Munro, Extension 2042,



About this Event

Host Organization: Healthy Workplace

The first year of university is developmentally significant because of a multiple, simultaneously-occurring transitions. Students navigate a broader range of academic choices and expectations compared to high school; they form new social groups and leave others behind; many move away from home for the first time. Previously well-functioning, high-achieving students sometimes struggle to keep up with new academic, social, familial, and financial demands. My colleagues and I have shown in prior studies that between 38% and 50% of students scored at or above clinical screening thresholds for depression, with rates peaking in both samples toward the end of the first semester of the first year of university. Recent findings from the National College Health Assessment of Canadian undergraduates support these trends: In the past year, most students felt overwhelming anxiety (63.4), and many felt that anxiety (30.8%) or depression (19.3) had negatively impacted their academic performance. In this presentation, I will highlight some early results from phase 1 of the Carleton Transitions Study, a survey study aimed at understanding success and well-being during the transition to university.

Participants were 460 first-year Carleton undergraduates (age 19 and under; 49% female; 47% White) recruited during Fall Orientation week in 2018. Most students fare well during the transition to university, but we also show that important socioeconomic and family environment disadvantages place students at risk during the earliest weeks of their university careers, and these disadvantages confer risk throughout the first semester.