Sunday, April 23, 2017

Abstract and Works Cited

Works Cited

"Anxiety." American Psychological Association. American Psychological Association, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. <>.

Armstrong, Elizabeth, and Laura Hamilton. Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2013. Print.

Bartone, Paul T et. al. "Academic Stress and Health: Exploring the Moderating Role of Personality Hardiness." Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research 53.5 (2009): n. pag. Routeledge, Oct. 2009. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.

Becker, Dana. "Chapter Two: Getting and Spending: The Wear and Tear of Modern Life."One Nation under Stress: The Trouble with Stress as an Idea. New York: Oxford UP, 2013. 19-48. Print

Collinge, Alan Michael. “The Rise of Sallie Mae and the Fall of Consumer Protections.” The Student Loan Scam.  Boston: Beacon Press, 2009. 1-19. Print.

Field, Kelly. "Stretched to Capacity: What Campus Counseling Centers Are Doing to Meet Rising Demand." The Chronicle of Higher Education. N.p., 6 Nov. 2016. Web. <>.

Finkel, E. (2016). TANGLED UP in blue. Community College Journal, 86(5), 38-42. Retrieved from

Flatt, Alicia Kruisselbrink. "A Suffering Generation: Six Factors Contributing to the Mental Health Crisis in North American Higher Education." College Quarterly 16.1 (Winter 2013): n.p. Web. Available at:

White, Gillian B. "The Mental and Physical Toll of Student Loans." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 02 Feb. 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2017. <>.


Newfield, Christopher.  “The Price of Privatization.”  The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2016. 18-34.  Print.

Novotney, Amy. "Students Under Pressure." American Psychological Association, Sept. 2014. Web. 04 Apr. 2017. <>.

"Stress." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.

The State of Mental Health on Growing Campuses: A Growing Crisis." Education Government Relations Office, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. <>.

Sweet, Elizabeth, Arijit Nandi, Emma Adam, and Thomas McDade. "The High Price of Debt: Household Financial Debt and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Health." The Journal of Social Science and Medicine (1982) (n.d.): 94-100. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2013. Web. 26 Apr. 2017. <>.

Walsemann, Katrina M., Gilbert C. Gee, and Danielle Gentile. "Sick of Our Loans: Student Borrowing and the Mental Health of Young Adults in the United States." The Journal of Social Science and Medicine 124 (2015): 85-93. Jan. 2015. Web. 26 Apr. 2017. <>.

This paper was written with the intent to investigate what are some of the large catalysts of college stress and anxiety. The overall problem being explored is that mental illness during college years has inclined heavily and anxiety is the top reported issue. Three sets of problems were looked at for catalysts and one issue to supplement problems: privatization of college, financial burden of college, academic pressure of college, and the current, poor state of on campus mental health resources. It was found that privatization has an effect on student stress through the divide is causes in social class. Students can feel inferior to peers that are unaffected by privatization. Financial burden on its own is very stressful for students, and privatizational divide increases stress and inferiority. This in turn makes academic pressure weigh more because there needs to be compensation through success to pay off loans. Students will work very hard to achieve, while peers do not hold the financial weight they do. Supplementing, when students reach out for mental help most on campus resources are not equipped to deal with a heavy influx of students, leaving many students behind. These together are worsening the state of stress and anxiety.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Argument and Counter-Argument

I put a lot of reconstruction into my argument. I started out with just explaining how privatization has messed with the mental states of current students. It then evolved to the there are societal changes that have caused students to be stressed about school and I began to analyze technology and media's role in student stress. After struggling to find the answer that works for me, I came to an integration of everything I originally looked through. My topic is that anxiety is extremely higher than it was ten years ago, and why is this happening? My argument and angle is that academic pressure and financial burden is the highest it has ever been. The combination of these two is what is causing so much stress for students. These are only made worse by privatization. Privatization creates a divide between students who have the means to turn to their own private outlets to get through school, and those who do not have their own private outlets and need to turn to loan private outlets to pay for schooling. This goes further for those who have private resources like family support in comparison to students who enter school entirely on their own. That divide makes the academic pressure even worse because you are competing with an elite crowd to compensate with the financial debt that you will be leaving school with.  That is what my proposal fell to be. What is different from then to know is that I noted at the end of my proposal that on campus resources cannot keep up with students. I have since moved that to the front of  my paper, touching on that before I get to main topic. I use it to explain that students feel very disconnected from their schools because counseling is currently so poor. I then go in to privatization and how it is alienating students.

My counter argument seemed at first that it would be extremelt difficult to find, but in I stumbled upon it when I found a study that I first thought fit in to my argument well. A study looked at the effect of academic pressure on the health of students, but hardiness of personaility was factored in also. The study, Academic Stress and Health: Exploring the Moderating Role of Personality Hardiness, found that students who cite academic stress are more likely to report health issues, but those with more hardy personalities were less likely to report health issues. This counter argument is an argument that we hear every day. Millennials don't have the grit to deal with the stress they face. Baby boomers argue that the stress hasn't changed. This study is followed by several other studies that cite the same exact argument. I have trying to find a way to understand and use Dana Becker, so this is the perfect example. Dana Becker, in One Nation Under Stress: The Trouble With Stress and an Idea, can almost seem like this is for this argument as she presents this rhetoric in her book. She explains that stress is privatized, society has turned on the people and saying that the reason that people can't deal with stress is because they lack the grit and the strength to get through it. It is their, private fault. Dana Becker states that this thought process is wrong, that the more we push this on people, the less they will be able to handle stress. It is an added pressure that people are privatizing stress and blaming themselves for the issues that they have. This argument is enjoyable to turn on its head because even in the study mentioned earlier, the discussion section explains that in the second part of the study where they test health and stress, hardiness does protect student's health, that is not the case for stress. Hardiness is unable to protect students from stress, they experience it no matter what. Another counter argument to back up my point is from the New York Post. The article states that instead of bashing millennials, they need to be given tools to cope. Even if those tools are keeping themselves closer to family and support systems. A great quote from the article states, "But the spike in anxiety is a real issue, one that shouldn't be lumped in with their "omg! lol! i can't even," social ineptitude."

Literature Review #5

1. Academic Stress and Health: Exploring the Moderatig Role of Personality Hardiness

3. Bartone, Paul T. "Academic Stress and Health: Exploring the Moderating Role of Personality Hardiness." Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research 53.5 (2009): 421-29. Routeledge, 5 Oct. 2009. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

4. This article is a study that looks at the interference of personality hardiness with the impact of academic stress on health. The study was testing to see if those who are more "hardy" in nature report a different amount of health complaints when faced with high academic stress. This was also being tested for low hardiness, then the two were compared. In the discussion section, the results found that those with lower personality hardiness cited more health issues than those who reported more personality hardiness. The study, at the end, suggested that college can be a very disruptive process for the lives of young people because it is effecting health. 

5. This article has many authors, and one grand author overseeing the study. That is Paul T Bartone. The other authors are: Sigurd W. Hystad, Jarle Eid, Jon C. Laberg and Bjørn H. Johnsen. Dr. Bartone has an entire website dedicated to studies like these and upon my finding of it I was very excited because it will help me a lot. is Dr. Bartone's website that explores his area of focus and provides many different studies like this one. He is extremely credible and respected in his field. 

6. Hardiness- Hardiness is defined as many things. It is the willingness to push through hard times, see hard times as lessons, be resilient, not feeling bad for the self, etc. Low hardiness is associated with a negative outlook, breaking down when things get hard, feeling bad for the self. But for me, lower hardiness is not such a looked down upon thing. Low hardiness can cause students to be unable to perform under the pressure of school, and I sympathize not reject, 
Academic Stress- This is the Independent variable of the study. High academic stress results in the change of health reports, which are determined further by hardiness's effect on the stress. 

7. Summing up what I took from the article, "As hypothesized, academic stress was positively associated with reported health complaints (r = .27, p < .001) as well as negatively correlated with hardiness (r = −.19, p < .01), (results)." Another quote supporting my takeaway, "Hardiness was also negatively associated with reported health complaints (r = −.27, p < .001), (results)."  A great quote that negates that hardiness can protect from physical health but not anxiety states, "Students who worried about the effect that their grades would have on future academic and professional goals also reported experiencing more health complaints. This suggests that attending university can be a disruptive experience for many students. Possessing the positive outlook on life that hardiness entails did not by itself protect against the harmful effects of stress, (discussion)."

8. This is my counter-argument. I have found plenty of studies like this one that states that students of today are stressed because they lack grit, not because they have too much stress. I will use this in my counter argument or present the findings that this could be true. But I will also use it to negate my counter argument, but using the fact that even the study says that hardiness cannot protect students from the stress all together.  

Friday, April 7, 2017


Privatization & Financial Burden- I am using a study called Sick of Our Loans: Student Borrowing and the Mental Health of Young Adults in the United States. The authors of this study are Katrina M Walsemann, Gilbert C Gee and Danielle Gentile. Originally, this was going to be used for my counter argument but I have found the use in it and the fact that it is perfect for my argument. This study portrays the exact feelings that I am looking into. A quote that was picked out by an Article that The Atlantic has used to sum it up. The article, The Mental and Physical Toll os Student Loans, states "Those with greater financial strain perceived more stress, had more symptoms of depression, anxiety and ill-health." Growing debt only makes these feelings worse. While the study stated that cumulative loans (not ones they need to pay off while in school) generated greater psychological functioning, the biggest point is that it only improves what is already poor. This will only continue to infect students as tuition has increased by 250 perfect over the past three decades. The Atlantic also cite a study from Northwestern University stating that students who had debt reported higher blood pressure. High blood pressure is a huge indicator of stress. The details of this case is exactly what I need to back up that financial burden is effecting the mental health of students. I can then incorporate privatization and how it only heightens these issues.

Academic Stress- I took a very interesting turn and used a a piece about privatization to back up my point that academic stress causes anxiety and poorer performance. This is through the divide that privatization and financial burden bring to students. I used Armstrong and Hamilton's Paying for the Party: How College maintains Inequality to support my point. In "Chapter 7: Achievers, Underachievers and the Professional Pathway," they visit the college experience of two students, Taylor and Emma. The story portrays how Taylor having private support for her college via parental payment and parental guidance left her with an impeccable GPA and an into dental school. Emma did not have the same support and was labeled an underachiever, and left school with a 3.0 and no clear path beyond a dental assistants job. I was trying to find a way to show how privatization makes financial burden higher, thus putting pressure on students to do well to make up for debt. This pressure can cause a lot of anxiety and a deterioration in mental health and thus leading to poor performance.

On campus resources- For my on campus resources, I am used Ed Finkel's Tangled in Blue, which is a meta survey across college campuses. It interviews not only students put the employees working at the on campus locations for counseling. It reveals the disparities of these outlets and you get many direct quotes of both ends saying how they feel on the matter. From there, it presents ways that resources can be tailored to mend the issue of resources.

Project Visuals

- This is a visual from the APA that depicts the spike in mental illness since 2007. You can see that anxiety is the highest, causing me to explore why anxiety is the highest of all mental health complaints. 

This supports my point that college is making students feel like they can never catch up and they are only working so hard to be constantly behind in the end. 

This depicts the amount of weight that students carry on their shoulders. We are putting too much demand on these students along with setting them up for failure with all of the money they have to take out just to make a future for themselves. They carry too much and it is causing a spike in mental illness. 

This shows just how much student loans own college kids' lives. They break their backs with academics for four years to compensate for their loans but they still carry the burden. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Academic Frame

Anxiety- Anxiety is the #1 psychological complaint of students in college. I am searching to find why students are experiencing more anxiety than ever before. Is it because of college or because of life? Is it the students bringing it upon themselves or is it because of the life students are brought in to by college? The APA cites in The State of Mental Health on Campus: A Growing Crisis that from 2000 to now, mental illness prevalence has risen from 16% to 44%. Anxiety is the highest of all, frequently being cited as the biggest complaint for why students seek psychological help.

Millennials- This is a term that Alicia Flatt frames her whole article around. This is very important for my project because to explain the fact that young adults live different lives than they did ten years before, the term millennials is the way to differentiate them from other generations. With the term millennial, i can find much more research on people of my age group and also use millennial to explain why students today are living differently. Laying out what has happened in millennial history will give me a chance to explain to the reader just how different society is today. That is a big point of my paper, millennials live different lives and college campuses are not accommodating. This also gives me a name to put to the face of the age group i am targeting. In her article, A Suffering Generation: Six Factors Contributing to the Mental Health Crisis in North American Higher Education, Flatt cites that the sic factors leading to mental health uprise is academic pressure, financial burden, accessibility, Male-to-Female ratio, technology, and lifestyle. Her point, that the life of these students is drastically different is a back bone for me and I will begin my paper with her article.

Privatization- Privatization is a seasoned topic in our class. I will be using Newfield, Armstong & Hamilton, and Collinge to paint the picture that the government is giving less to schools, causing them to turn to private outlets for funding. This also means that the government and schools are giving less to students in terms of aid and students need to turn to private outlets. But this does not just go for money, the less schools are supporting their students academically, and mentally like I point out, the more students turn to overall private outlets for the support. Lucky students can pay for school out of pocket by family and have them tp support them. The common college student does not have that. They have loans and they are on their own, but this elitist preference that schools has created has caused students to feel divided when college was made to be 4 years of equal playing ground for everyone to figure out their path. It is not longer so easy for students. This is the beginning of the domino effect of financial burden and academic stress on mental health and the prevalence of anxiety.

Financial Burden- Financial burden is being looked at as a result of privatization. Because of the increase in college tuition and the lack of funding from the government, students are less capable to pay for schooling and need to pay off loans. It is also created a class divide in college when students should be on the same playing ground. This leaves students extremely stressed and further, they feel inferior to those who do not struggle with paying off school. I have found many study that associates financial burden with the increased stress of students in college. I will be using a study called Sick of our Loans: Student Borrowing and the Mental Health of Young Adults in the United States. This looks at what financial burden of any kind can do for the stress of young students and then emphasizes that loan borrowing only exacerbates this issue.

Academic pressure- Academic Pressure could stand on its own for a huge issue going on in American Higher Education. I am looking at it from an angle of not so much what schools expect from their students, but how academic pressure is a result of privatization. Students have much more to lose when they are under the pressure of debt and compensation for that. I will be using Armstrong and Hamilton's Paying for the Party to explain that academic pressure is caused by the divide in higher class and lower class, doubling the pressure of those who have loans to compensate for with a successful college career and job perspective afterwards. I also have found a study that I will be using for my counter argument and turn around called, Academic Stress and Health: Exploring the Moderating Role of Personality Hardiness. The study is looking to see if hardiness can play a role in academic stress, but while it does interfere with health, it doesn't protect students from stress.

Literature Review #4

Sick of our loans: Student borrowing and the mental health of young adults in the United States

1) This is a photo of the journal that published this article
2) Walsemann, Katrina M, et al. “Sick of Our Loans: Student Borrowing and the Mental Health of Young Adults in the United States.” :, 13 Nov. 2014, Accessed 22 Mar. 2017.

3) This article is about the effects of student loans on the mental health of students, primarily the stress of paying them back. And exact quote that sums up the analysis is this, This study investigated two questions: 1) what is the association between the cumulative amount of student loans borrowed over the course of schooling and psychological functioning when individuals are 25-31 years old; and 2) what is the association between annual student loan borrowing and psychological functioning among currently enrolled college students? We also examined whether these relationships varied by parental wealth, college enrollment history."

4) There are three authors: Katrina M Walsemann, Gilbert C Gee, and Danielle Gentile. Walsemann is a PHD in public health, which I think is extremely ideal for this topic because her research is in promoting better health and welfare of communities of people. Gee is a PHD in Health Equity. I think together, this group is extremely educated on the health of large populations.

5) Psychological functioning is one phrase used all throughout the article. Meaning, the article looks to see the relation of loans and psychological functioning. Loan Borrowing is another term. Frequently, throughout the analysis the authors use "borrowed amount."

6) Found in the abstract on page one, the authors give a quick sum up on their findings, Student loans were associated with poorer psychological functioning, adjusting for covariates, "in both the multivariate linear regression and the within-person fixed effects models. This association varied by level of parental wealth in the multivariate linear regression models only, and did not vary by college enrollment history or educational attainment," (1). In the results section, when addressing parental wealth, the article stated,  "Among individuals whose parents had negative net worth, psychological functioning improved with increasing amounts of student loans b ¼ 0.39 (0.09 þ 0.48). In comparison, individuals from the wealthiest families experienced poorer psychological functioning with greater amounts of student loans (b ¼ 0.09, p < 0.05). Individuals from families with low and middle net worth did not differ significantly from those from the wealthiest families," (89). And finally, when addressing the borrowing of different kinds of students, the article stated"Cumulative student loans were lowest among those attending 2-year colleges ($1751), compared to transfer students ($7279) and those attending 4-year colleges only ($7002). Two-year college students were also the most socioeconomically disadvantaged; 30.4%, 23.8% and 20.6% of 2-year, transfer, and 4-year students, respectively, were in the bottom quartile of income in 2010," (89).

7) This article is of value because I can use it for a counter argument-argument. When you first read through the results you would think that they are against my argument, and in a way they are. They state that students with the most cumulative loans have better psychological functioning. But these students are students with parents that have very low net worth or none at all, meaning that they have nothing to pay out of pocket. When they get cumulative loans, these are loans that they do not have ot pay back right away and thus the stress is alleviated while in school. For students with very wealthy parents that have to take out loans, psychological functioning is lower. It is understandable for students who have never had to worry about money before. I think that there is a lot I can do with research like this.