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Abstract
The psychological distress issues in college students are of great attention. General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was administered among 114 male and female college students. It was found that the students had psychological (43.6%), physical (41.6%), studies (41.8%), interpersonal (29%), and substance abuse (12.8%) related stress at college level. The study suggested that some preventive measures should be taken in to con- sideration and effective counseling facilities should be provided to the students in the college/ university cam- Introduction
Student mental health problem was traditionally defined within the context of adjustment and develop- mental challenges. Issues like homesickness, achievement anxieties, adjustments to new independence, and finding one’s way have always presented challenges for college and university students. In recent years, nature of student mental health problem had changed. The psychological distress issues in school and university stu- dents are of great attention. College students frequently have more complex problems today than they did over a decade ago. Common stressors in college include, greater academic demands, being on your own in a new environment, changes in family relations, changes in social life, exposure to new people ideas and tempta- tions, depressed at some point in time that they have trouble functioning, eating disorder, easily get angry on small matters, disruptive behavior, and psychosis (Kadison & Geronimo, 2004). According to a report, the numbers of students seeking services at counseling centers are increasing and this number is nearly half in un- According to a survey of California University, diagnoses of these students indicate a heightened severity of problems and an increasing use of medications for anxiety, mood disorders, and depression. Student mental health issues affect academic communities in many ways. It includes disruptive and hostile behavior or even violence in classrooms and labs to suicidal threats or gestures in the residence halls. Faculty, staff, and stu- dents have feared for their own safety when interacting with students in crisis, and instances of stalking or other bizarre behavior are quite common. A cross institutional study found stress the top of health problem which worried students most, followed by body image, AIDS, physical fitness and cancer (Delene & Bro- gowich, 1990).The Stanford Survey found psychological distress to be extremely common among the stu- dents. One out of three students described himself as anxious or tense. As far as depression is concerned, 1 in 5 students described him-self as “tired without any apparent reason”. 43 percent said sometimes felt “so de- pressed it is hard for them to get going” and 16 percent reported feeling that life is not worth living (Martinez & Fabiano, 1992). Many students may have bad days or bad moods, depression is more complex. Silverman (2004) found that depression, to the extent that it interfered with typical daily activities for two or more weeks, was reported by 28.3% of college students. Female students are more likely than male students to ex- perience serious depression (Silverman, 2004). Young (2004) indicates that the rate of depression among col- lege students rose almost five per cent in just the past four years, with 38% of these students on antidepressant It reflects that 20 to 25 percent of college students’ population is suffering from psychological distress all over the world. The study was aimed to examine the college students’ mental health situations studying in Japanese universities at Kyushu region.
To find out the psychological distress among university students of Japan in Kyushu region, a prelimi- nary study has been carried out by taking the students from an undergraduate college of Fukuoka prefecture in Japan. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was administered among 114 undergraduate students (Male n=37; M age=21.4 yrs.; Female n=77; M age=20.6 yrs.). The mean age of total sample was 21.1 years (SD =2.33) with an age range of 19-23 yrs.
A Student Health Problem Inventory was administered to the students prior to the General Health Ques- tionnaire to consciously think about health matters. There were 10 statements in the inventory about students’ problem on concentration, memory, worry, anger etc. This has been translated to Japan version using the back translations method (Bruslin, 1980 & 1986).
Japanese version of GHQ-12 (Doi, Y. & Minowa, M., 2003) was used in the study. It was the self- completion questionnaire asks informants about their general level of happiness, depression, concentration, anxiety, and sleep disturbances over the four weeks preceding the survey. GHQ-12 was internally reliable and homogenous scale to produce mainly the factors of psychological distress and social dysfunction.
A Student Stress Inventory has been chosen to know the level of stress among students on five areas- psychological, physical, studies, interpersonal and substance abuse. Each area consisted of Likert-type 5 items Results and Discussion
The average score for the student population was 3.60 on GHQ-12 (see Appendix-I, I a). As for the stan- dardization of GHQ-12 to Japan adult population was 4 and above on cut off point. By taking this into consid- eration, the average score for this study is below cut off point. However it was found that out of 114 students, (44%) scored 4 or more than 4 indicated that these students had psychological distress at a high level. The main effect of GHQ-12 was significant (F 1,112 = 8.9, p < .05). It was found that 49% of students expressed lack of self confidence, 37% constant strain, 53% could not play useful part, 18% felt depressed and 27% The main effect of the student problem inventory (see Appendix II & II a) was also significant (F 1,112 = 10.9, p < .01). The type of stress the students reported on student stress inventory were as psychological (43.6%), physical (41.6%), studies (41.8%), interpersonal (29%), and substance abuse (12.8%).
The Students Stress Inventory (see Appendix III & III a) suggested that 41% of students reported stress with highest on psychological and lowest on substance abuse. These distressing and alarming results should be considered for some preventive measures.
Student counseling was introduced in Japanese College by the American Council on Education in 1951 (Watanabe-Muraok, 1997). Currently, approximately 60% of Japanese universities employ counselors on their campuses and 90% of universities offer some kind of consultation center to students, such as Psychological Consultation Center (Monbushou, 2000). Despite the passing of 55 years since its introduction to Japan, col- lege counseling is not yet fully established as its own independent profession, and university counseling is provided by various professionals, including psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, teaching faculty, and general clerical staff (Watanabe-Muraoka, 1997).
Japanese college students were likely to seek help from their social networks of friends, families and sib- lings versus professional sources as a mean of coping with their psychological distress (Fukuhara, 1989). In Japan, college student think that their problems could potentially harm their relationship with others, they may decide to keep their problems to themselves and put the needs of others before individual concerns (Henkin, 1985). In addition, keeping things with themselves is considered as honorable because Japanese culture em- phasizes tolerance for difficulty and willingness to sacrifice and endure in the face of adversity (Marsella, The results of this survey are in the above direction too and indicates that 41% of students reporting of psychological distress. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a student counseling services in the college with a trained counselor as educational/ clinical psychologist so that counselor can deal with students emotional The college should conduct an orientation course towards counseling services and should dispel the myth that consulting a psychologist/counselor will not harm their social relationship but help the student to over- come his psychological problems. Otherwise this will affect the academic carrier of the students. Kitzrow (2003) suggested that all campus personnel take advantage of faculty and staff development opportunities and seek information about working with students who have mental health conditions and/or disabilities. Recog- nizing and referring students in trouble is one of the very best things surrounding persons can do.
References
Delene, L. M., & Brogowicz, A. A. (1990). Student health needs attitudes & behavior making implication for college health centers: Journal of American College Health, 38, 157-164.
Martinez, A. M. & Fabiano, P. (1992). Stanford students health needs assessment 1990: Report of Stanford CA: Cow- ell Student Health Center, Stanford University.
Brislim, R. W. (1980). Translation and content analyses of oral and written materials. In H. Triandin & J. W. Berry (Eds.), Handbook of Cross cultural Psychology, Vol.2. Methodology (pp.389-444) Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Brislin, R. W. (1986). The wording and translation of research instruments. In W. J. Lonner & J. W. Beny (Eds.), Cross cultural Research & Methodology Services: Vol. 8. Field methods in cross cultural research (pp.137-164).
Doi, Y., & Minowa, M. (2003). Factor structure of 12 items General Health Questionnaire in the Japanese general adult population. Psychiatry clinical neurosciences, 57 (4), 379-83.
Fukuhara, M. (1989). Counseling Psychology in Japan. Applied Psychology: An international Review, 38 (4), 409-
Henkin, W. A. (1985). Toward Counseling Japanese in America: A cross cultural primer. Journal of Counseling and Development, 63, 500-503.
Kadison, R., & DiGeronimo, T. F. (2004). College of the overwhelmed: The campus mental health crisis and what to do about it. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Kitzrow, M. A. (2003). The mental health needs of today’s college students: Challenges and recommendations.
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Marsella, A. (1993). Counseling & Psychotherapy with Japanese Americans: Cross-cultural considerations. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 63 (2), 200-208.
Monbushou (Japan Ministry of Education, Culture & Science) (2000). Gakusei Seikatsu no Jujitsu ni Kansuru tyousa kenkyuukai (investigation meeting for the enrichment of student life). Tokyo, Monbushou.
Silverman, M. M. (2004). College student suicide prevention: Background and blueprint for action. Student Health Watanabe-Muraoka, A. (1997). National system of counseling in Japan. International Journal of Advancement in Counseling, 19, 15-27.
Young, J. R. (2004). Prozac campus. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Pp. A37-A38.
APPENDIX!
General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12):
Been able to concentrate on whatever you are doing.
Felt that you are playing a useful part in things.
Been able to face up to your problems.
Felt capable of making decision about things.
Felt that you could not overcome your difficulties.
Been feeling reasonably happy all things considered.
Been able to enjoy your normal day to day activities.
Been feeling unhappy and depression.
Been loosing self confidence in yourself.
Been thinking yourself as a worthless person.
APPENDIX I a
APPENDIX II
Student Problem Inventory
Difficulty to concentrate on studies.
Irritable and angry for minor reasons.
APPENDIX II a
APPENDIX III
I always have too much to study, never able to relax I feel under high pressure to perform in my studies I feel difficulty to concentrate on studies I am not getting good support from my teachers I have difficulty relating to other students I quite often have conflict with teachers I quite often have conflict with students of opposite gender APPENDIX III a

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