The mental health status of single-parent community college students in California.
Shenoy, D.P., Lee, C., & Trieu, S.L.
Single-parenting students face unique challenges that may adversely affect their mental health, which have not been explored in community college settings.
The authors conducted secondary analysis of Spring 2013 data from the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment to examine difficulties facing single-parent community college students and the association between single parenting and negative mental health (depression, self-injury, suicide attempt).
Participants were 6,832 California community college students, of whom 309 were single parents.
Demographic and mental health data were characterized using univariate descriptive analyses. Bivariate analyses determined whether single parents differed from other students regarding negative mental health or traumatic/difficult events.
Finances, family, and relationship difficulties disproportionally affected single parents, who reported nearly twice as many suicide attempts as their counterparts (5.3% vs. 2.7%; p < .0001).
Single-parenting students face a higher prevalence of mental health stressors than other community college students.