By Amanda N. Fisher, Graduate Student, Department of Psychology; Maria K. Anchacles, Undergraduate Student, Department of Psychology; and Dr. Dakesa Piña, Staff Counselor, Student Counseling Services
Originally published in Progressive Measures, Spring 2014, Volume 9, Issue 2.
It is no secret that our culture places great value on appearances, idealizing thinness as a beauty standard and primary indicator of health. The “Freshman 15” (the idea that students will gain 15 pounds during their first year of college) is a widely held belief that may encourage students to take dieting and exercise to unhealthy extremes; however, a recent study found that freshman participants only gained 2.5 to 3.5 pounds on average during the first year of college (Zagorsky, 2011). The problem seems to be increasing: a study at one college found that total eating disorders increased in both females (from 23% to 32%) and males (from 7.9% to 25%) during a 13-year period (White, Reynolds-Malear, & Cordero, 2011). Continue reading
By Daniel Selvey, Graduate Student, Department of Psychology; Christina Senior, Undergraduate Student, Department of Psychology; and Dr. Dakesa Piña, Staff Counselor, Student Counseling Services
Originally published in Progressive Measures, Spring 2013, Volume 8, Issue 2.
Suicide prevention is extremely important on college campuses; while only 7.5 out of 100,000 (.0075%) college students commit suicide (Silverman, 1997), this represents more than half of completed suicides between age 15 and 24 (National Center for Health Statistics, n.d.). With five percent of college students attempting suicide, universities are searching for ways to lessen the major risk factors for this population, such as feelings of isolation, hopelessness and helplessness, and depression (Westefeld et al., 2006). Social support in the form of connections with peers, family, and the university at large is a strong protective factor in college student suicide, but some universities have gone beyond encouraging support and have enacted outreach programs explicitly to train faculty, staff, and students on issues related to suicide and suicide prevention. Continue reading