Determinants of wellbeing in university students: The role of residential status, stress, loneliness, resilience, and sense of coherence

Caroline E. Brett*, Michelle L. Mathieson, Avril M. Rowley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Maintaining wellbeing in university students is a government priority, but robust evidence has been lacking. Higher wellbeing is associated with better mental and physical health, higher self-esteem, self-efficacy, and effective coping strategies. This study aimed to identify, through an online survey in 2018, key determinants of wellbeing amongst a sample of 574 (65.5% female) students across all levels of study at a university in the UK. Most respondents (526 (91.8%)) reported feeling unusually stressed or overwhelmed at university. Residential students reported higher loneliness and number of stressors than commuter students, and postgraduate students reported higher wellbeing, resilience, and sense of coherence, and lower perceived stress and loneliness. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that 71.8% of the variance in wellbeing was predicted by a model containing demographics (age/gender, level of study, number of stressors), psychosocial variables, and perceived stress, with perceived stress, sense of coherence, loneliness, and resilience the strongest predictors. The findings suggest that interventions designed to improve resilience and sense of coherence, and reduce loneliness and perceived stress are likely to be effective in enhancing wellbeing in a student population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • loneliness
  • resilience
  • sense of coherence
  • stress
  • students
  • wellbeing

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