Social problem-solving skills and mental health: a comparison of undergraduate cohorts

Beccaria, Gavin and Lee, Edna and Machin, M. Anthony (2009) Social problem-solving skills and mental health: a comparison of undergraduate cohorts. In: 44th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference 2009, 30 Sep-4 Oct 2009, Darwin, Australia.

Text (Published Version (Abstract))

Download (148Kb)


Problem Solving Skills is clearly indicated as a graduate attribute at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and many other Australian Universities. This study was cross-sectional in design and aimed to compare perceived social problem solving skills and mental health variables between undergraduate year levels. Previous research has shown that first year university students are more likely
to indicate signs of depression than students‘ in latter years. Research has also found that groups with higher education have indicated more positive problem solving appraisal. Finally, there is considerable research that has linked poorer problem solving appraisal with higher levels of depression and anxiety.
An online test battery was administered to 464 undergraduate students from the USQ. The Problem
Solving Inventory, Form B (PSI-B; Heppner, 1988) measured perceived problem-solving ability, and is comprised of three subscales; Problem Solving Confidence, Approach Avoidance and Personal Control.The other measure was the shortened version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21;Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995) and measured mental health variables (Depression, Anxiety and Stress).
Participants were divided into year level (i.e. first, second or third year), and a one way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) indicated no significant difference between the groups on any of the problem solving or mental health variables. Given that the USQ has a large mature age student population, students were re-analysed with one-way ANOVA according to age (under 21, 21-29, 30-39 and 40 and over years).
Significant differences were found where the two older groups had a more positive problem appraisal than
the two younger groups. The two older groups also indicated less depression and anxiety symptoms than the two younger groups. It is suggested that problem solving therapy programs specifically targeting younger students may be worth considering

Statistics for USQ ePrint 7815
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Poster presentation - only abstracts published in the conference proceedings.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 26 May 2010 01:18
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2014 06:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: problem-solving skills; undergraduate students; mental health
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only