Publication Date

8-2010

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Frederick Grieve (Director), Dr. Sarah Ostrowski, Dr. Andy Mienaltowski

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts

Abstract

The purpose of the current study is to examine the academic and social functioning of college students with a chronic physical health condition (CPHC). For the current study, chronic physical health condition will be defined as follows: “A physical [or mental] health condition that has lasted or is expected to last at least 6 months and interferes with their activities,” (Varni & Limbers, 2008, p. 107). The sample consisted of 174 participants attending Western Kentucky University. Two groups (CPHC vs. Healthy) were comprised based on the participants’ self-reported health status. Participants were solicited through Western Kentucky University’s department of Psychology Study Board as well as through the university’s Department of Disability Services. The participants completed the demographics questionnaire, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory for Young Adults (PEDSQL), and the Costello-Comrey Depression and Anxiety Scales (CCDAS). All the measures were completed online. Three hypotheses were made. Hypothesis one stated that college students who have a chronic physical condition will have a lower level of social functioning when compared to their healthy peers. Hypothesis two stated that college students who have a chronic physical health condition will have a lower level of educational adjustment when compared to their healthy peers. Hypothesis three stated that female college students who have a chronic physical health condition will endorse higher levels of the internal symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Results yielded support for the second hypothesis, as individuals with a CPHC did report lower levels of academic adjustment than healthy individuals. The first hypothesis was marginally supported as participants with a CPHC reported lower levels of social functioning than healthy individuals. The third hypothesis was not supported as females and males with a CPHC reported similar levels of anxiety and depression.

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology | Psychology