Anxiety is a problem that several college students have to contend with irrespective of the course expectation. The demand of social interactions and responding to the parental expectations is another aspect that college students have to deal with. Majority of students have experienced overwhelming situations leading to anxiety disorders. Some students fail to make inquiries or seek clarifications with regards to examinations, which is an important aspect in the determination of their final grading. The extents to which anxiety situations affect the students is growing and require a consolidated approach of both clinical psychologists and college counseling departments in order to support the affected student. It is important that students suffering from anxiety disorders are supported through therapeutic approaches or psychotropic medication in order to normalize their situation.
The Impact of Anxiety Disorders on the Quality of Education for College Students
Every learning environment brings anxiety among the students. In fact, it is expected that students may not have prior knowledge or information about a topic for discussion and may be expected to undertake presentations. However, the challenges of anxiety carry several negative impacts in the education of students and might escalate to substantial levels. Student experience various stressful situations during post-secondary educations, which defines their interactions and socialization methods and occasionally lead to underperformance in their education. Anxiety disorders affect several students, impairing their ability to function properly during class work or social associations within the campus. Even though several therapies have been developed to support students with psychological problems, challenges have remained based on the students’ acceptance of their anxiety situations. In addition, the students are not ready to accept medication or other therapeutic approaches available through science. Therefore, the discussion will analyze the effects of psychological anxiety to the student and the extent to which it affects the performance of the student beyond the learning environment.
Background of Study
Anxiety is regarded as a reactionary effect of the brain to activities and situations of life. A mild state of anxiety is normal in the life of a student. However, severe situations of anxiety carry several challenges and psychological impacts on the general well-being of a student. Students have witnessed challenging scenarios to their academic status due to the effects brought about by anxiety. Anxiety in the academic angle presents itself through a double model touching on social or interactive challenges and the academic problems. Indeed, the academic anxiety leads to the social challenges where the affected students find it difficult to ask for assistance on issues they may not know but are related to their academic performance. This form of anxiety presents itself through special instances that limit the attainment of academic milestones due to the inability of the students to make inquiry. As a result, the students might end failing the exam or postpone their study period or exams. Social anxiety, therefore, leads to academic anxiety and when left unattended, the situation may flow beyond the education cycles to affect students in their professional life. Under those premises, the discussion will investigate through the various challenges experienced by the student and the current remedial measures used to provide a professional opinion and advice based on the findings of the study.
Statement of the Research Problem
University and colleges have reported several incidences of drop out under undefined circumstances. The majority of such students have laid claim on issues to do with stress and anxiety, leading to inability to manage course schedules, relationship expectations together with responding to the expectations of the parents. One of the principal factors is the anxiety situation of the students, which rates high with regards to students’ capacity. Investigations into the probable causes of anxiety situations among students have been extensively conducted by various psychologists. Candela, Gutierrez, and Keating (2015) investigative findings reveal that 30% of college students report incidences of stress due to the academic expectation of over performance while 85% reveal to getting overwhelmed by the societal expectations imposed on them. Even though psychotropic medications are available among other remedial measures, the challenge is often the diagnosis and the understanding of the student who is under the stressful situations, which could be getting out of hand.
The paper seeks to analyze situations of anxiety among student to ascertain the possible causes of psychological anxiety and stress situations. To ensure that accurate investigation is conducted, the study will test a hypothesis supported by several research questions. The hypothesis and the research questions were tested to an identified demography of students and psychological experts as well as practitioner counselors.
The research will test the hypothesis on university student and other actors in the field of psychology to establish the effects of anxiety to the educations and future professional inclinations of the student.
The research, therefore, tested the null hypothesis to the alternative hypothesis to determine the relationships of its coefficients as follows.
H0: Irrespective of the psychological situations of a college student, anxiety affects the academic performance and progress of the student leading to poor grades and occasionally extends on to future post-college performance.
H1: Irrespective of the psychological situations of a college student, anxiety does not affect the academic performance and progress of the student and does not affect the post-college future performance of the student.
The research will endeavor to answer the following questions among the respondents
- To what extent does anxiety affect the performance of the student in colleges and how does it continue to their future professional engagements
- What are the available methods of reducing anxiety situations among student and how do they impact on increasing academic performance.
Mental health experts have rated anxiety as one of the leading mental health challenges among students. Behavioral health data indicates a looming crisis given the reports that the number of students in need of psychiatric evaluations is increasing at unprecedented levels in the United States. Anxiety among college student is becoming a greater mental health challenge among the young people. Therefore, the condition ought to be managed before it escalates to crisis levels. Kirsch, Doerfler, and Truong (2015) explain that almost more than half of the students who visit college clinics have anxiety related problems. The American College Health Associations (ACHA) conducted a research in the year 2015 dubbed the National College Health Assessment survey over a wider population demography. In this study, it was evident that one in every six college students representing approximately 15.8% had been diagnosed and treated for anxiety and other related mental health problems.
The expectations placed on the student to manage through several aspects of education and social requirements, including managing school-based course works, handling relationship with peers, and other friends, as well as parental expectations tend to take a toll on the majority of the students leading in increased anxiety (Kirsch, Doerfler, & Truong, 2015). Beck, Davis, and Freeman (2015) concur that frequent and uncontrollable anxiety has the potential to completely disorient the student from managing their daily routine, leading to psychological disorders. Even though daily anxiety challenges cannot be used to point out to incidents of anxiety disorder, several escalations of social pressure within the life of the student are leading to severe psychological problems.
Statistical data have endeavored to provide information to the effect that anxiety disorders are a major cause of mental health problems in public institutions of learning. Hartmann and Blaszczynski (2018) explain that majority of adults who suffer anxiety challenges had their first experience at the age of 22 years old. This finding brings to play the importance of managing anxiety and the importance of training the young people on the steps to take while undergoing stressful situations in order to prevent further escalations to serious mental disorders.
Self-concept as a multi-dimensional construct helps a student to understand his or her perceptions about the self. These perceptions are managed with regards to behavioral traits, intellectual statuses among other attributes like physical appearance and popularity. According Little, Gaier, and Spoutz (2018), self-concept model helps a student to make realizations about his or her self, leading to higher satisfaction levels. Therefore, the students are able to understand their challenges with regard to socialization and interactions. As a result, they are able to respond to them adequately and with the limited crisis.
Students with challenges of anxiety respond differently as they endeavor to manage their shortcomings. Some college students respond to aspects of anxiety through substance abuse, leading to several levels of addiction in the efforts to manage their mental challenges (Keough, Hendershot, Wardell, & Bagby, 2018). Beck, Davis, and Freeman (2015) indicate that those who are affected by anxiety disorders have a tendency for creating over-reliance to wrong methods like the abuse of marijuana for confidence building or alcohol in order to gain the requisite confidence levels. However, Keough et al. (2018) explain that reliance on drugs for managing anxiety disorders only manages temporal challenges, but weakens the little confidence levels leading to over-reliance on secondary methods. Psychologist and adolescent experts have advised about the existence of several approaches to managing the anxiety and its related disorders. Therapeutic counseling session and psychotropic medications are among the approaches that can be used to manage simple to advanced anxiety situations in an institution set up. Hartmann and Blaszczynski (2018) concur to this argument but warn that before counseling session or medications are launched, it is important that a student undertakes a self-evaluations in order to pass through a clinical process of diagnosis before accessing a scientifically informed and guided process of healing.
The methodology of the study is designed to collect data from the two major sources of data collections. These include the secondary review of the literature and the primary data collection methods gathered through study questionnaires and interviews.
Secondary data through Literature review was received from an academic journal, peer-reviewed acrylics among other scholarly sources available in various libraries of the world. The study took advantage of the deductive approaches to test the hypothesis through the questions provided for the research. Similarly, the study took advantage of the rich database among the world libraries and through relevant electronic sources for the secondary literature available to gather and analyze the qualitative data. In this case, the qualitative data gathered through the secondary literature was used to back up the data received from the primary data sources, the interviews, and surveys. Apart from the peer-reviewed journals and other publications, the study equally consulted through other similar studies conducted in several parts of the world to identify concurrences within the literature or data.
Primary Data Collection
The Study Questionnaire: The study used questionnaires and survey to gather its primary data sources for selected population of respondents. The questionnaire covered primary aspects of the research, testing the hypothesis of the research. The questionnaire was administered by the researcher, and all respondents filled and signed a consent form before the commencement of the interview session. The consent form took care of study objectives and the handling or management of the findings. This was equally expected to take care of any ethical issues that could come up as a result of the findings of the study. Several Students were involved in the study to answer the questionnaire. Psychological counselors were equally involved, including other professional psychologists and practitioners
Recruitment and Sampling
The recruitment of the research took the approach of gathering primary data from students and other professional opinion and advices from clinical professionals. Therefore, the research involved 100 respondents divided among the clinical professional students. The study involved 75 students and 25 counselors and various professional scientists. The sampling of the participants in the study was done randomly among the targeted populations. Emphasis was placed on the first and last year students since a lot of adjustments are expected among these groups of students.
The majority of the students reached through the study admitted to at least in a moment during his or her campus life to have experienced situations of anxiety. There is a large amount of empirical data that points to the academic anxiety. However, the majority of these investigations are carried at elementary levels. The study findings reveal that the majority of students who prepare for exams tend to have lower levels of anxiety related to examinations. This implies that early preparations reduced aspects of anxiety, especially for students with mild anxiety situations. Grieco, Jowers, Errisuriz, and Bartholomew (2016) explain that various students respond differently to study time with allocation differing from one student to the next. However, they agree that preparedness through study moment increases or reduces circumstance of anxiety among the students. There is a link between perfectionism and anxiety (Keough et al., 2018). Students with higher aspects of anxiety tend to increase class based scores through reading compared to those with mild anxiety. The quest for perfection and need to obtain better grades increases anxiety situations. Grieco et al. (2016) explain that those students who continue to create more hours to a particular subject have higher projections to perform better in such subjects compared to a student who allocates balanced time for studies. Worth noting is that the balanced student has presented lower anxiety situations and balanced grades. On the other hand, a student who allocates higher time for studies and preparations has higher anxiety level, but equally perform by gaining relatively better grades.
Several clinical researchers have made several suggestions on the aspects of the prevention of anxiety among students. Endorsements have been proposed to take the shape of emotional regulation methods to alleviate symptoms in students. Metacognitions and coping systems, including the Mindfulness meditations (MM) have been used as activities and strategies that reduce incidences of anxiety among students (Krause & Antony, 2017). According to Hogan, Dwyer, Harney, Noone, and Conway (2015), nonproductive coping skills have the potential to address emotional aspects of anxiety. However, MM strategies require the participants to engage in a therapeutic session with a therapist within a professional setup. People understand their learning models through metacognition, leading to improved perceptions or expected performance, which reduces the incidence of anxiety.
Similarly, Krause and Antony (2017) are of the opinion that Metacognition can be combined with MM through a therapeutic setup or sessions to support the student create an understanding of his or her learning environment and reduce levels of anxiety. Hogan et al. (2015) believe that it is important to manage emotional reactions as they occur other than making attempts to change the stressful situations. Even though stress is a trigger to psychological problems, the majority of students could not strike a connection to anxiety. The students who acknowledged to have experienced anxiety also experienced situations of stress leading to emotional distress and psychological problems For instance, when interacting with exams or project supervision; many students make assumptions instead of making inquiry to understand the tasks. It is, therefore, established from the findings that stress among student has a higher propensity to affect performance. In addition, some students are affected more than others in college.
While anxiety among college students can be a motivational issue leading to improved focus and grades, the harm it carries to other students is high. In fact, this can be witnessed through low self-concept, reduced efficacy levels, and reduced performance. It is necessary that clinical psychologists and educationist managing the guidance and counseling departments in colleges take an in-depth analysis of the anxiety situations of the student within the campuses. Concentration is identified as a challenge to aspects of anxiety. Many students have poor or low concentration levels and often lack the patience to listen and calibrate information before arriving at a resolution. Therefore, it is important that colleges support the student through the acquisition of concentration and listening skills.