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PATTERNS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS IN UNIVERSITY UNDERGRADUATES: FACTOR STRUCTURE OF SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION, PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS, ALCOHOL USE, AND EATING PROBLEMS

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Abstract:

This study sought patterns underlying a broad range of psychological problems in 248 undergraduates at a private Midwestern university by examining relations among 1) psychological problems significant in undergraduates and 2) potential correlates of psychological problems. Psychological problems examined were anxiety, depression, emotional stress, physical symptoms, amount and consequences of alcohol consumption, eating problems, and psychological traits associated with eating problems. Personal-emotional adjustment was included as the potential opposite of maladjustment. Factor analyses generally found two broad independent patterns constant across genders. Internalized Distress consisted of anxiety; depression; emotional stress; personal maladjustment; physical symptoms; eating problems; and eating traits. Alcohol Abuse consisted of amount and consequences of alcohol consumption. Multiple regression analyses indicated that whereas stressors were correlates of both factors, female gender predicted higher scores on Internalized Distress, while male gender predicted higher scores on Alcohol Abuse.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1998.26.3.211

Publication date: January 1, 1998

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