Fit for work? Comparative mental health of built environment undergraduates

Scott-Young, C, Turner, M and Holdsworth, S 2018, 'Fit for work? Comparative mental health of built environment undergraduates', in Gorse, C and Neilson, C J (ed.) Proceedings of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference 2018, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 3-5 September 2018, pp. 331-340.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Fit for work? Comparative mental health of built environment undergraduates
Author(s) Scott-Young, C
Turner, M
Holdsworth, S
Year 2018
Conference name ARCOM 2018: Mental Health, Stress and Wellbeing
Conference location Belfast, Northern Ireland
Conference dates 3-5 September 2018
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference 2018
Editor(s) Gorse, C and Neilson, C J
Publisher Association of Researchers in Construction Management
Place of publication United Kingdom
Start page 331
End page 340
Total pages 10
Abstract High rates of occupational stress make mental health a critical issue in the built environment (BE) sector. Research has shown that some aspects of mental health, like burnout, continue over from student days into the workplace. Employers and educators should be concerned then that global evidence shows that the mental health of millennial students, born 1980-1999, is deteriorating. Therefore it is important to understand more fully the mental health of future BE professionals before they enter the workforce. Although mental health has been studied in numerous undergraduate disciplines including engineering, science, IT, medicine and law, it is not known whether these results can be generalised to BE students. This study explored the mental health of 410 Millennial undergraduate BE students in a large metropolitan university. The DASS-21 Depression, Anxiety and Stress scales were used to enable a comparison with six previously published studies on undergraduate mental health. The sample of BE students showed a greater incidence of normal mental health and a lower percentage of mental health disorders than other university disciplines. However, it is still a matter of concern that one in four in the BE sample experienced either depression or stress, or both. Of even greater concern is that four in ten students experienced an anxiety disorder. These findings have implications for both educators and employers as mental health problems at university can carry over into the workplace. As the construction industry is known for its high number of stressors and poor mental health, it is important that mental health issues are identified early in the talent supply chain and that interventions are undertaken at university to produce more mentally fit graduates.
Subjects Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Keyword(s) anxiety
built environment students
mental health
Copyright notice © 2018 Association of Researchers in Construction Management. All rights reserved.
ISBN 9780995546325
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