Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Peter Vanable, Department Chair
Tanya Eckert, Associate Professor
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Psychology | School Psychology
As medical technologies continue to improve, what used to be considered terminal illnesses are now becoming chronic medical conditions. Studies have consistently shown that children and adolescents with chronic illnesses are more absent from school than their healthy peers (Fowler, Davenport, & Garg, 1992; Taras & Potts-Datema, 2005), and perform poorly in school despite having equitable intelligence levels (Sexson & Madan-Swain, 1993). However, despite thorough documentation of this phenomenon in younger children, there is a lack of research on the effects of chronic illness among college students. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of chronic illness on academic performance, mental health, and quality of life among this understudied population. A total of 209 participants completed a questionnaire that included a variety of measures assessing academic attendance and performance, health, mental health, and past illnesses. It was hypothesized that participants with chronic conditions would demonstrate lower rates of school attendance and academic performance, and higher rates of mental health problems compared to their healthy peers. Although results did not show a statistically significant difference in academic functioning between the two groups, they did reveal that students with chronic medical conditions had significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety, and lower perceived coping ability than their typically-developing peers.
Lawless, Casey, "Academic and Mental Health Functioning in College Students with Chronic Medical Conditions" (2013). Honors Capstone Projects - All. 41.
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