Mental Health Among High School Students

| December 16, 2020

Mental health is on the rise among many high school students. The etiology of mental health is multifactorial in dimension and has a significant impact on students’ well-being and future life. This essay explores both sociodemographic and non-sociodemographic factors that influence high school students’ mental health.


            The parents of different high school students have different education levels, ranging from high school to college and university. The consequent social and economic conditions surrounding parents with low education attainment levels result in many high school students’ poor performance(Assari 2018). Such students tend to manifest symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression compared to students from higher educational level families. Fartein Ask Torvik et al. conducted a cohort study to investigate the mechanisms linking parental educational level with student ADHD, academic challenges, and depressive conditions involving 28000 families (2020). Results indicated that parental level of education alongside genetic vulnerability influenced students’ propensity to depression and ADHD.

            Young students between 10 and 19 are more vulnerable to mental health problems due to their inadequate knowledge, failure to admit the problems, and fear of being teased by their peers. Research conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness reveals that one out every four students have mental health problems(Hadjimina 2017). The age bracket of 10-19 years constitutes adolescence, which is vital in developing and maintaining socioemotional behavior that significantly influences their mental health. During this period, students develop coping skills, solve problems, interpersonal skills, and manage their emotions(Hadjimina 2017). Strong desire for autonomy, peer pressure, desire for exploring sexual identities, and extensive media accessibility significantly predispose these students to mental problems.A set of two disparate worlds of future spirations and adolescent reality is created due to gender standards and social media impact contributing to stress and depression.

            Depression results in a condition of reduced mood and aversion from activity. Indeed, depression is more often than not a sign of mental health disorders. It results from a wide range of stressful life events. States of depression are gradable through the Hamilton Depression Rating scales, which comprises of multiple questionnaires.             The questionnaires’ points are usually rated on a 3or 5 point scale compared to the respective descriptors (Timmerby 2017). This measurement results in very heavy, heavy, moderate, mild, and non-depressed states. These categories of measurement guide recovery in the patients.

            Self-esteem is a subjective perception of self-worth. Some adverse life events that happen during our daily routine activities lower the self-esteem of many students. Research indicates that low self-esteem is significantly linked with mental disorders among students. Self-esteem is graded through a 10 point scale that measures the entire self-esteem, the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale. It explores an individual’s self-evaluation of self-worth with responses ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” based on four-point scale scores.

            Research reveals the existence of a significant relationship between mental health and satisfaction with life among different people. Dissatisfaction with life results in mental health problems in the victim, probably due to diseases or disabilities. The Satisfaction With Life Scale assesses the cognitive ability to evaluate satisfaction in an individual’s life. Patients respond to laid down statements based on a 7 point scale.

            Anxiety is common among students with constant fear for exams and seniors. Being worried about the future predisposes to mental disorders in these students due to fear. Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale is applied in assessing anxiety severity resulting in mild, mild to moderate, and moderate to severe classifications.

            In conclusion, there exists numerous sociodemographic and non-demographic variables that are linked to mental health well-being. Different variables have different influences on mental health, and therefore an informed approach is required in the solution of mental health problems.


Assari, S. (2018). Parental educational attainment and mental well-being of college students: diminished returns of Blacks. Brain Sciences8(11), 193.

Hadjimina, E., & Furnham, A. (2017). Influence of age and gender on mental health literacy of anxiety disorders. Psychiatry Research251, 8-13.

Timmerby, N., Andersen, J. H., S√łndergaard, S., √ėstergaard, S. D., &Bech, P. (2017). A systematic review of the clinimetric properties of the 6-item version of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D6). Psychotherapy and psychosomatics86(3), 141-149.

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