Journal of Nursing Education

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Major Articles 

First-Year Nursing Students' Accounts of Reasons for Student Depression

Laura Cox Dzurec, PhD, RN, CS; Lynn Allchin, PhD, RN, CHPN; Arthur J. Engler, DNSc, APRN

  • Journal of Nursing Education. 2007;46(12)
  • Posted December 1, 2007

Abstract

ABSTRACT

This study used content analysis and hermeneutics to examine 53 first-year nursing students’ surmised reasons for their own or their peers’ experiences of feeling down or depressed. Study data were confidential e-mail responses (n = 53) to the question, “If you or another student you know has been feeling down or depressed, can you describe a reason?” Content analysis reflected respondents’ sense of their own relatedness to the experience; a general sense of awareness of the occurrence of feeling down or depressed among students; suggested reasons, from general to specific, for those experiences among students; and sense of ownership, from self to others to individuals unspecified, as they described the experience of feeling down or depressed among first-year college students. Hermeneutic analysis revealed seven themes characterizing student experiences of feeling down or depressed. The authors address the context of depression frequently associated with college student life.

AUTHORS

Received: July 13, 2005

Accepted: January 20, 2006

Dr. Dzurec is Dean and Professor, Kent State University, College of Nursing, Kent, Ohio. Dr. Allchin is Coordinator of Prelicensure Clinical Programs, and Dr. Engler is Associate Professor, University of Connecticut, Storrs, School of Nursing, Storrs, Connecticut. At the time this article was written, Dr. Allchin was Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut, Storrs, School of Nursing, Storrs, Connecticut.

Address correspondence to Laura Cox Dzurec, PhD, RN, CS, Dean and Professor, Kent State University, College of Nursing, Henderson Hall, P.O. Box 5190, Kent, OH 44242; e-mail: ldzurec@kent.edu.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

This study used content analysis and hermeneutics to examine 53 first-year nursing students’ surmised reasons for their own or their peers’ experiences of feeling down or depressed. Study data were confidential e-mail responses (n = 53) to the question, “If you or another student you know has been feeling down or depressed, can you describe a reason?” Content analysis reflected respondents’ sense of their own relatedness to the experience; a general sense of awareness of the occurrence of feeling down or depressed among students; suggested reasons, from general to specific, for those experiences among students; and sense of ownership, from self to others to individuals unspecified, as they described the experience of feeling down or depressed among first-year college students. Hermeneutic analysis revealed seven themes characterizing student experiences of feeling down or depressed. The authors address the context of depression frequently associated with college student life.

AUTHORS

Received: July 13, 2005

Accepted: January 20, 2006

Dr. Dzurec is Dean and Professor, Kent State University, College of Nursing, Kent, Ohio. Dr. Allchin is Coordinator of Prelicensure Clinical Programs, and Dr. Engler is Associate Professor, University of Connecticut, Storrs, School of Nursing, Storrs, Connecticut. At the time this article was written, Dr. Allchin was Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut, Storrs, School of Nursing, Storrs, Connecticut.

Address correspondence to Laura Cox Dzurec, PhD, RN, CS, Dean and Professor, Kent State University, College of Nursing, Henderson Hall, P.O. Box 5190, Kent, OH 44242; e-mail: ldzurec@kent.edu.

ABSTRACT

This study used content analysis and hermeneutics to examine 53 first-year nursing students’ surmised reasons for their own or their peers’ experiences of feeling down or depressed. Study data were confidential e-mail responses (n = 53) to the question, “If you or another student you know has been feeling down or depressed, can you describe a reason?” Content analysis reflected respondents’ sense of their own relatedness to the experience; a general sense of awareness of the occurrence of feeling down or depressed among students; suggested reasons, from general to specific, for those experiences among students; and sense of ownership, from self to others to individuals unspecified, as they described the experience of feeling down or depressed among first-year college students. Hermeneutic analysis revealed seven themes characterizing student experiences of feeling down or depressed. The authors address the context of depression frequently associated with college student life.

AUTHORS

Received: July 13, 2005

Accepted: January 20, 2006

Dr. Dzurec is Dean and Professor, Kent State University, College of Nursing, Kent, Ohio. Dr. Allchin is Coordinator of Prelicensure Clinical Programs, and Dr. Engler is Associate Professor, University of Connecticut, Storrs, School of Nursing, Storrs, Connecticut. At the time this article was written, Dr. Allchin was Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut, Storrs, School of Nursing, Storrs, Connecticut.

Address correspondence to Laura Cox Dzurec, PhD, RN, CS, Dean and Professor, Kent State University, College of Nursing, Henderson Hall, P.O. Box 5190, Kent, OH 44242; e-mail: ldzurec@kent.edu.

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