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Study Demands, Social Support and Mental Health in Teacher Education Students: A Cross-Sectional Study

Journal article
Authors Mia Söderberg
Eva M. Andersson
Lisa Björk
Gunilla Wastensson
Published in Journal of Educational and Social Research
Volume 10
Issue 3
ISSN 2239-978X
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Language en
Keywords Teacher education students; Psychosocial study demands; Social support; Mental health
Subject categories Occupational medicine


The aim of this paper was to investigate relationships between psychosocial factors in a study environment and mental health in teacher education students. Study objectives were explored in 593 Swedish teacher education students (80% women). Psychosocial variables were measured with the standard Swedish demand-control-support questionnaire. Associations to mental health were calculated with logistic regression analyses, stratified by gender. Female students, on average reported higher demands, exhaustion and anxiety, than men. High study demands were associated with severe exhaustion in both men and women, even in models including all potential confounders and social support. Although, social support was related to lower exhaustion in women and less anxiety in men, this variable only contributed to minor effect changes in the associations study demands to mental ill-health. High study demands seem important for mental health in teacher education students. Future studies, perhaps using qualitative methods, would benefit the state of knowledge regarding students’ psychosocial conditions and poor mental health. Such knowledge could assist universities in interventions to enhance both health status and future stress resilience.

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