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Title:The prevalence of depression as measured by the Beck Inventory and the characteristics associated with depression among students in three Illinois public community colleges: The College of DuPage, Truman College, and McHenry County College
Author(s):Shirley, Susan Kaneer Hollowell
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Harmon, Lenore W.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Community College
Education, Guidance and Counseling
Education, Educational Psychology
Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:This study was designed to determine the prevalence of depression measured by the Beck Inventory (BI; Beck, 1978) and characteristics associated with depression among students at three Illinois public community colleges. As this was the first study of depression in this population, the colleges were selected to represent different types: (a) the College of DuPage is a large suburban college in a wealthy district; (b) Truman College is an ethnically diverse, medium-sized Chicago city college in an economically poor area; and (c) McHenry County College is a small college in a rural/suburban district.
In a random sample of day, evening, and night credit classes at each college, a total of 137 classes were selected with 94 instructors allowing their classes to participate (69%) and 43 refusing (31%).
Using the BI cut-score of 10 to identify depression, the prevalence of depression found was: (a) 25.2% (M 7.11, SD 6.26) at the College of DuPage (n = 448); (b) 47% (M 10.35, SD 8.13) at Truman College (n = 429); and (c) 22.3% (M 6.26, SD 6.48) at McHenry County College (n = 440). At 31.4% the average depression rate across these colleges (N = 1317) was greater than the reported rates found using comparable self-report instruments in both the university student population, 22%, and adult community population, 16.7%. The rate, level, and mean score of depression found at Truman College were significantly higher than any of these measurements reported in the university student or general adult community literature.
Across these community colleges, 23.5% of the students reported having been depressed for two weeks or more, 77.5% of the depressed students reported that they had frequently or occasionally experienced depression in the past year and 18.4% had thoughts of killing themselves that had lasted for at least one week.
In a series of two-way ANOVAs corrected by the Bonferroni adjustment, depression was found to be strongly and significantly associated with ethnic origin (NonWhite subcategory) but not with sex, age, or marital status.
Since depression has been found to interfere with learning and academic achievement, is associated with attrition and student suicide, and is found to respond to psychoeducational interventions in academic settings, community college educators were urged to take action appropriate to their individual colleges to help depressed students.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Shirley, Susan Kaneer Hollowell
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9114413
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9114413

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