12.24 More college freshmen feeling overwhelmed, survey finds , The Los Angeles Times , Jan. 27, 2011
Only 52 percent of college freshmen responding to this year’s “American Freshman” survey rated their emotional health above average or higher. This is the lowest percentage of students describing themselves as emotionally strong since the question about emotional health was first included in the survey 25 years ago. More than 201,000 incoming freshman at 279 four-year colleges and universities around the country participated in the survey, which is formally known as the CIRP (Cooperative Institutional Research Program) Freshman Survey and is conducted by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). “What it means is that going into college, students are already feeling more stress and feeling more overwhelmed and have lower emotional reserves to deal with that stress,” said John H. Pryor, managing director of HERI and author of the survey report, which is titled The American Freshman. The survey also found that women were less likely than men (46 percent versus 60 percent) to say they had a high level of emotional health. More than twice as many women as men said they had often felt overwhelmed by school, home and job responsibilities when they were high school seniors. According to Pryor, the students’ responses to survey questions about their activities uncovered a gender gap in home responsibilities, which could play a role in the women’s stress levels. “The guys are spending more time in stress-relieving activities, like watching TV and playing video games. The girls are more likely to be helping out with chores at home,” said Pryor.
Read the full report at www.heri.ucla.edu.