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Socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyles, social support quality and mental health in college students: a cross-sectional study

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posted on 2023-07-20, 23:49 authored by Chao Wang, Shijiao Yan, Heng JiangHeng Jiang, Yingying Guo, Yong Gan, Chuanzhu Lv, Zuxun Lu
Background: Mental health problems are important public health issues among college students and are associated with various social factors. However, these influencing factors were scarcely summarized in Chinese college students comprehensively. This study aims to assess the associations between socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyles, social support quality (SSQ) and mental health among Chinese college students. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Wuhan, China, from October 2017 to February 2018. College students from 18 colleges or universities were randomly recruited using multi-stage cluster sampling method. The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support scale and 12-items General Health Questionnaire were used to estimate students’ SSQ and mental health statuses, respectively. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the associations between socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyles, SSQ and mental health problems. Results: A total of 10,676 college students were included. Among them, 21.4% were identified as having possible mental health problems. Students being a female, aged 18–22 years old, whose mother held college degrees and above, and drinking alcohol were more likely to have mental health problems (P < 0.05). Contrarily, having general or higher household economic levels, work-rest regularly, and sleeping ≥ 7 h were preventive factors (P < 0.05). Especially, a decreasing trend in the risk of having mental health problems with the improvement of SSQ was identified. Conclusion: Besides socio-demographic and lifestyle factors, social support is a critical factor for mental health among college students. Improving SSQ, especially which from the family, could be an effective method to prevent mental health problems among college students.


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BMC Public Health



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Springer Nature



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© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

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