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How do University Experiences Contribute to Students’ Psychological Wellbeing?

Abstract

Wellbeing has important implications for students’ success during and beyond university. As such, educators need clear empirical evidence of the aspects of university life that contribute to students’ wellbeing. We use a mixed-methods approach to ask whether and how students’ diverse university experiences contribute to their self-rated wellbeing. In an online survey, 696 students provided accounts of positive and negative experiences at university and self-rated their wellbeing using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS).   Most of the sample reported high wellbeing, though there was diversity in their reported experiences. Regression analysis revealed that students’ experiences at university significantly contributed to the variation in their wellbeing scores. Social and academic experiences were the strongest positive contributors  to student wellbeing; whereas gender, social experiences and emotional experiences were the strongest negative contributors. Our findings offer guidance for strategies within academic and non-academic university contexts that can effectively and efficiently promote student wellbeing.

Published:
Pages:99 to 108
Section: Articles
0 citation(s) in Scopus
0 citation(s) in Web of Science

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Author Biography

The University of Melbourne
Australia Australia

Dr Abi Brooker is a lecturer and teaching specialist at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, the University of Melbourne. Trained in lifespan developmental psychology, her research interests include the relationship between curriculum and psychological wellbeing in universities, the relationship between psychological wellbeing and psychological distress, and the challenges of young adulthood in the 21st century. Her teaching areas include developmental psychology, lifespan developmental psychology, and psychopathology.