Mental Health Survey Analysis

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I created a survey to gauge college students’ perceptions of mental health in the United States. The survey began with demographic questions and then moves onto questions that gauge the participant’s views on their mental health, mental health in general, and certain stigmas associated with mental illness in the United States.

Participants
The demographics of the survey were limited. Only current college students attending in the United States were allowed to participate in the survey. Because of this, the participant demographics in the survey are skewed for the sample. For example, of the sample N=166, only 18.7% of the respondents (n=31) identified as male and 4.8% of the respondents (n=8) identified as a gender other than male or female.
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The survey was available for a two-week period in April online and consisted of general demographic questions, as well as questions that asked about college standing and previous mental healthcare access. The second portion of the survey consisted of 21 statements that assessed self-stigma, friend stigma, peer stigma, and general stigma related to mental illness as well as questions that assessed how important the participant viewed their own mental health and the mental health of others. The statements in the second portion were all single-trait Likert scale questions from 1-7, with 1-3 indicating disagreement with the statement, 4 indicating indifference, and 5-7 indicating agreement. The statements consisted of questions such as “I would tell my boss I need to take a mental health day if I thought I needed it.” (an example of self-importance of mental health) and “I would believe a peer if they told me they couldn't finish an assignment because of a mental health issue.” (an example of peer stigma surrounding mental illness). There were also more general statements included such as “Mental health professionals can be helpful to people with mental health problems.” and “People make too big of a deal about mental illness.” that were intended to assess a more global instance of the mental health stigma. The statements in the…show more content…
Of the three questions that gauged self-importance of mental health, one had an average of 6.09 and the other had an average of 5.21, indicating that the participants viewed their mental health as important. Interestingly enough, however, the average for one of the questions was 3.72, which inquired whether the participant would tell their boss they needed a mental health day if they thought they needed it. But it also had the highest standard deviation, 2.11, indicating that there was greater variance in responses. It is likely that pervious experiences with bosses could have affected responses to this question, as well as current employment status. In any case, participants still rated their own mental health as important to them. However, when asked if they were comfortable with discussing their own mental health with friends, the average was 4.79, indicating a lower willingness to share such information with friends. This average dropped even lower, to 4.11 when considering discussing their own mental health with their peers. This means that personal intimacy may play a role in discussing mental health with others and overcoming the
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