High levels of stress and anxiety are common amongst college students, particularly engineering students. Students report lack of sleep, grades, competition, change in lifestyle, and other significant stressors throughout their undergraduate education (1, 2). Stress and anxiety have been shown to negatively impact student experience (3-6), academic performance (6-8), and retention (9). Previous studies have focused on identifying factors that cause individual students stress while completing undergraduate engineering degree programs (1). However, it not well-understood how a culture of stress is perceived and is propagated in engineering programs or how this culture impacts student levels of identification with engineering. Further, the impact of student stress has not been directly considered in engineering regarding recruitment, retention, and success. Therefore, our guiding research question is: Does the engineering culture create stress for students that hinder their engineering identity development? To answer our research question, we designed a sequential mixed methods study with equal priority of quantitative survey data and qualitative individual interviews. Our study participants are undergraduate engineering students across all levels and majors at a large, public university. Our sample goal is 2000 engineering student respondents. We combined three published surveys to build our quantitative data collection instrument, including the Depressionmore »
Combining Social Science and Environmental Health Research for Community Engagement
Social science-environmental health (SS-EH) research takes many structural forms and contributes to a wide variety of topical areas. In this article we discuss the general nature of SS-EH contributions and offer a new typology of SS-EH practice that situates this type of research in a larger transdisciplinary sensibility: (1) environmental health science influenced by social science; (2) social science studies of environmental health; and (3) social science-environmental health collaborations. We describe examples from our own and others’ work and we discuss the central role that research centers, training programs, and conferences play in furthering SS-EH research. We argue that the third form of SS-EH research, SS-EH collaborations, offers the greatest potential for improving public and environmental health, though such collaborations come with important challenges and demand constant reflexivity on the part of researchers.
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- International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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- National Science Foundation
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