New students’ psychological well-being and its relation to first year academic performance in a UK university

Topham, P. and Moller, N. (2010) New students’ psychological well-being and its relation to first year academic performance in a UK university. Counseling and Psychotherapy Research, 11 (3). pp. 196-203. ISSN 1746-1405 Available from:

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Aims: This study (1) profiled the well-being of first year students entering one UK university, and (2) explored whether initial well-being and year end academic performance were correlated. Method: A total of 117 students (mean age 21, 67% female) completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-General Population, and Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale; academic achievement data were collected from academic records. Results: Almost a quarter of the sample reported quasi-clinical levels of psychological distress and moderate to very severe social anxiety. Quasiclinical levels of psychological distress were associated with low self-esteem and social anxiety. No statistically significant links were found between well-being as assessed at the beginning of the first year and academic achievement at the end of the first year. Discussion: The failure to find a link in this study between initial well-being and academic performance at the end of the first year suggests that further investigation is required to understand how academic achievement is related to student well-being.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This is an electronic version of an article published in Counseling and Psychotherapy Research, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 196-203. Counseling and Psychotherapy Research is available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords:academic performance, mental health, self-esteem, social anxiety, university students, well-being
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences > Department of Health and Social Sciences
ID Code:13685
Deposited By: P. Topham
Deposited On:27 Jan 2011 16:37
Last Modified:08 May 2018 16:01

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