An Exploration of the Relationships among the Characteristics of Emerging Adulthood, Mental Health, and the Family Financial ConditionFacilities
關鍵詞 Key words : 大學生 ； 憂鬱 ； 心理健康 ； 貧窮 ； 幸福感 ； college students ； depression ； mental health ； poverty ； well-being
P.193 - 227
Purpose: The perspective of emerging adulthood has been broadly examined in western societies, but several knowledge gaps are evident. The first is a lack of research using nonwhite participants with diverse socioeconomic family backgrounds that takes well-being into account when considering mental health. Second, empirical evidence suggests that family poverty causes children to mature early, limits young people's self-exploration, and prevents them from choosing their desired lifestyle. Hence, young people from families with different socioeconomic backgrounds may exhibit differences in terms of their characteristics in emerging adulthood. Empirical evidence has also long supported an association between poverty and poor mental health. However, whether adulthood moderates the association remains unknown. Methods: We investigated this question by conducing hierarchical regression analyses of data from 1,444 college students in Taiwan. Results: We identified 3 major findings: (1) Poor students had lower scores on experimentation and feeling in between youth and adulthood. (2) The hierarchical regression analyses indicated that experimentation and self-focused characteristics are protective factors for mental health, whereas instability is a risk factor for mental health. After controlling for characteristics in emerging adulthood, family economic status still predicted mental health with significant accuracy. (3) Adulthood had moderating effects. Poor students who were adults had the worst mental health. Conclusions: Three suggestions regarding policies and services for college students' mental health are provided: (1) in order to reduce the impact of poverty, continue to provide assistance to disadvantaged youths who go to college; (2) enhance school counselors' ability to identify disadvantaged youths early so as to serve them better; (3) establish a mechanism for fulfilling the dreams of disadvantaged youths in order to improve their mental health.