Moving up, feeling down: Socioemotional health during the transition into college

Julie Skalamera Olson


Moving from high school to college is a critical juncture in socioemotional health, and how young people fare likely depends on their academic settings and experiences. To examine variation in trajectories of depressive symptomatology among a sample of US youth who transition from high school into college, this study applied growth mixture modeling to data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, which revealed multiple patterns of symptomatology over time that ranged from healthy to unhealthy. Adolescents appeared to have the healthiest trajectories when they experienced consistently competitive academic settings in high school and college. Overall, transitioning into college was a period of socioemotional vulnerability for some and wellbeing for others, but challenging curricula and contexts across this transition could differentiate between the two.


socioemotional well-being; depressive trajectories; life course study; longitudinal research; college-going; academic context; curricular position

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Copyright (c) 2017 Julie Skalamera Olson

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