Prejudice and Discrimination as the Causes of Anxiety and Depression Among College Students

Social psychology is a major research area of the offered project that deals with human behaviors within a particular social context. The analysis of what has already been discovered and the identification of current scientific knowledge are the important steps of this study (Newman, 2016). In this assignment, the relation between human behaviors like prejudice and discrimination and mental health disorders like anxiety and depression will be researched among college students. Three peer-reviewed articles to support the discussion will be evaluated.

Topic Description

Today, academic stress is a common concept to explain students’ behaviors, weaknesses, and challenges. Mental health turns out to be a critical predictor of students’ achievements in colleges (Posselt & Lipson, 2016). Using the investigations by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the researchers admit that about 25% of college students are diagnosed with depression or anxiety (Posselt & Lipson, 2016). Racially-based discrimination is also observed in undergraduate education, which contributes to a variety of academic concerns (Cheng, McDermott, Wong, & McCullough, 2019).

In addition, Zvolensky, Jardin, Garey, Robles, and Sharp (2016) state that the emergence of ethnic minorities and related acculturative stress remains an influential factor in the development of anxiety and depressive problems. The point is that prejudice is usually an opinion created by students about students. Therefore, young teenagers become the major sources of their problems that determine their health and mental well-being.

The concept of discrimination has old roots, but it gains new meaning as soon as an individual joins a college community. It is hard to predict how violent behavior is developed among students, but anxiety and depression are usually expected outcomes. In many cases, students do not like to ask for professional help or admit that they could possibly have a mental health problem. As a result, they continue living with anxiety or depression and experiencing behavioral and psychological challenges.

Articles’ Choice and Evaluation

The connection between racism and academic performance among students is not a new topic for discussion, but the contributions of researchers cannot be ignored. For example, Cheng et al. (2019) use online surveys and focus on the gap that exists in research about the causes of discrimination and their impact on Latinx college students. In this article, the authors discover that many students cannot prepare their schoolwork or remain less motivated because of the discrimination they experience.

Although this study is limited by its sample (only Latinx students of the Southwestern U.S. public university) and possibly biased answers (reliance of self-reports), its results are critical for research under discussion. The connection between prejudicial treatment, discrimination, and stress (anxiety and depression included) is defined and proved.

Another significant source for analysis in this work is the article about anxiety and depression in college classrooms. Its authors, Posselt and Lipson (2016), also use academic stress among students as an outcome of unfair treatment at their academic facilities. Student characteristics, interpersonal experiences, and several academic disciplines are identified to explain the peculiarities of the relation between students’ performance levels and their mental health changes.

The prevalence of depression and anxiety in college students is proved by the author, as well as the impact of discrimination and weak peer support (Posselt & Lipson, 2016). This study can be a solid foundation for a new project, proving that human relationships and education have to be thoroughly investigated to predict complications and improve academic performance.

The evaluation of the third article for this research should begin with the recognition of the approach chosen by the authors. Zvolensky et al. (2016) underline that, in the United States, ethnic minorities turn out to be the groups of people who are at risk of anxiety and depression due to the lack of empirical work. Such students have to deal with social pressures that are poorly controlled by their educators or the medical staff of their academic facilities. At the same time, adaptations to new intellectual environments and acculturation changes have to be recognized.

Therefore, there is a burning need for additional interventions where the symptoms of anxiety and depression are examined, and acculturative stress is predicted (Zvolensky et al., 2016). All these mental health problems cannot just disappear if nothing is done, and this article is not only a background for future studies but a call for action. There are many empirical data sources about the already introduced variables, and it is necessary to evaluate it, gather new opinions, and create additional methods for controlling and improving student behaviors.


In general, the chosen articles make specific contributions to the chosen research topic about discrimination and prejudice as the causes of anxiety and depression among college students. Every author supports the idea that mental health problems influence the quality of the relationships that students develop in classrooms, which then defines the level of their academic performance. This study is another attempt to investigate the offered field and clarify why young people cannot avoid prejudice environments and continue being exposed to depressive or anxious moods.


Cheng, H. L., McDermott, R. C., Wong, Y. J., & McCullough, K. M. (2019). Perceived discrimination and academic distress among Latinx college students: A cross-lagged longitudinal investigation. Journal of Counseling Psychology. Web.

Newman, M. (2016). Research methods in psychology (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.

Posselt, J. R., & Lipson, S. K. (2016). Competition, anxiety, and depression in the college classroom: Variations by student identity and field of study. Journal of College Student Development, 57(8), 973-989. Web.

Zvolensky, M. J., Jardin, C., Garey, L., Robles, Z., & Sharp, C. (2016). Acculturative stress and experiential avoidance: relations to depression, suicide, and anxiety symptoms among minority college students. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 45(6), 501-517. Web.

Find out the price of your paper