How Do Risky Behaviors and Mental Health Differ Among Students Based on Undergraduate Class Status?

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Date of Original Version



Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among undergraduate class status, risky behaviors (i.e., alcohol and marijuana use, sexual activity), life satisfaction, and ability to cope. Methods: Undergraduate students (N = 2,961) completed an electronic survey to assess for mental health status and risky behaviors. Results: Compared with others, first-year students reported fewer days of having at least one alcoholic drink, fewer days of having five or more alcoholic drinks in a row, and less frequency of marijuana use. First-year students reported fewer sexual partners and less frequency of sexual activity compared with others. First-year students were more likely to report greater life satisfaction, being able to cope with difficult situations, and greater self-worth, compared with others. Conclusions: As undergraduate students progress through their academic career, they are more likely to engage in risky behaviors and experience life dissatisfaction.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association