Home » News » Prevention Programs Can Ease College Stress & Anxiety
Prevention Intervention Can Ease College Stress and Anxiety

Prevention Programs Can Ease College Stress & Anxiety

Attending college is not just fun and games as a significant number of students develop mental health problems.

However, proactive intervention can help to ward off or diminish the psychological issues that come with higher education.

A team of psychologists from Loyola University Chicago systematically reviewed universal interventions involving over 10,000 students enrolled in two- and four-year colleges and universities and graduate programs.

Their findings are published in the journal Prevention Science.

Researchers indicated that universal prevention interventions — that is, programs targeting general students, not just students who are at risk for or who have already developed problems — were effective in significantly reducing outcomes related to stress, anxiety, and depression.

The programs also helped in enhancing not only students’ social-emotional skills, self-perceptions, and interpersonal relationships, but also their academic adjustment. However, programs differ in their effectiveness.

Apparently, practicing skills is a better approach than lecturing students on what they should do to relieve stress and anxiety.

Researchers discovered programs that included supervised practice of targeted skills significantly outperformed didactically oriented or psychoeducational programs, as well as skills-based programs without supervised practice.

These findings have important implications because stress, anxiety, and depression are among the most common adjustment problems experienced by higher education students, and these problems have been rising on college campus.

Furthermore, these problems can interfere with students’ academic performance and retention. On the other hand, developing psychosocial assets — including adaptive social and emotional skills, positive self-perceptions, and supportive interpersonal relationships — can help a student self-manage mental health and improve academic performance and retention.

The authors discuss the value of skill-training programs with a preventive mental health focus and their application within higher educational settings. They conclude that effective programs to prevent emotional distress and promote psychosocial assets warrant more widespread use.

Source: Springer/EurekAlert!

Prevention Programs Can Ease College Stress & Anxiety

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Prevention Programs Can Ease College Stress & Anxiety. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 23 Apr 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.