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Survey and Kroger

kanchi's picture

The survey results overall seem to indicate that students are feeling a fairly high level of stress, and feel overwhelmed at how much they have to do. In terms of mental health, anxiety and depression seem to be the biggest problems. Everyone seems to have a few nights each week that they do not sleep well. In Kroger’s book, there is a description of identity statuses created by Marcia which are interesting because they are directly modeled on university students who he observed. Four statuses are described: identity achievement, moratorium, foreclosure, and diffusion. It seems to be that the “identity achieved” people are the most put-together types, and the “diffusion” people the least. In terms of feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I think everyone can be affected. But perhaps the 13.2% of students who were diagnosed or treated for anxiety and the 11.1%  for depression (the two highest numbers on that list) are more likely to be the “diffusion” types of identity status. They are described as having low self-esteem and autonomy, and having the most hopelessness. (Kroger p.42) That being said, the notion of categorizing people is concerning to me, in the sense that it has the possibility of inviting us to use a developmental stage as almost a kind of excuse or explanation for a mental illness. I would never want to be the professional who assessed someone as having a “diffusion” identity status, and therefore saying that that is why the patient is depressed, and being tempted to somehow “write off” the condition.