Examining the Relationship Between Loneliness and Mental Health

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In the United States (U.S.) in 2019, 51.5 million or nearly one in five U.S. adults were estimated to live with a mental illness. Mental health among college students is a growing concern as it can pose a major threat to public health (WHO, 2021). Nearly half of college-aged people in the United States have a mental condition. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of loneliness and mental health among university students, the drivers of loneliness such as educational status and one’s sex, and the association of psychological or mental services among college students. This cross sectional study used secondary data from the fall 2019 American College Health Association National College Assessment III (ACHA-NCHA III). A Chi-square test of independence was used to evaluate the relationship between mental health status and educational status and loneliness. Also examined was the association between the mental health status and sex. Lastly, the difference between utilization of psychological or mental health services between sex was evaluated using a Chi-square test. A significant relationship was found, X^2(1, N= 3697)= 10.117, p = .001) between educational status and mental health status as well as between loneliness and mental health status, (X^2(1) = 375.767, p =.001). A significant association was found, (X^2(1) = 15.926, p = .001) between mental health status and sex. A significant difference was found (X^2(1) = 117.016, p = .001) suggesting a difference between the use of psychological or mental health services and sex.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Public Health
Public Health, Mental Health, Higher Education