Jennifer L Hefner

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

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Publications (2)3.2 Total impact

  • Jennifer Hefner, Daniel Eisenberg
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    ABSTRACT: This study is the first, to our knowledge, to evaluate the relationship between mental health and social support in a large, random sample of college students. A Web-based survey was administered at a large, public university, with 1,378 students completing the measures in this analysis (response rate = 57%). The results support our hypothesis that students with characteristics differing from most other students, such as minority race or ethnicity, international status, and low socioeconomic status, are at greater risk of social isolation. In addition, the authors found that students with lower quality social support, as measured by the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, were more likely to experience mental health problems, including a sixfold risk of depressive symptoms relative to students with high quality social support. These results may help administrators and health providers to identify more effectively the population of students at high risk for mental illness and develop effective interventions to address this significant and growing public health issue.
    American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 10/2009; 79(4):491-9. · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mental health among university students represents an important and growing public health concern for which epidemiological data are needed. A Web-based survey was administered to a random sample at a large public university with a demographic profile similar to the national student population. Depressive and anxiety disorders were assessed with the Patient Health Questionnaire (R. L. Spitzer, K. Kroenke, J. B. W. Williams, & the Patient Health Questionnaire Primary Care Study Group, 1999). Nonresponse weights were constructed with administrative data and a brief non-respondent survey. The response rate was 56.6% (N = 2,843). The estimated prevalence of any depressive or anxiety disorder was 15.6% for undergraduates and 13.0% for graduate students. Suicidal ideation in the past 4 weeks was reported by 2% of students. Students reporting financial struggles were at higher risk for mental health problems (odds ratios = 1.6-9.0). These findings highlight the need to address mental health in young adult populations, particularly among those of lower socioeconomic status. Campus communities reach over half of young adults and thus represent unique opportunities to address mental health issues in this important age group.
    American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 10/2007; 77(4):534-42. · 1.60 Impact Factor