Cara Steere

Document Type


Publication Date



This research project explores the question “Why are mental health issues increasing in high school and college students and why are the issues they are dealing with so different from one another?” A literature review was conducted to understand the difference between high school and college stress. 61% of students have said that performing well and getting good grades deemed satisfactory has "put them over the edge". To further understand the plague of mental health issues, 1:1 interviews peer interviews were conducted to compare the stress of high school and college. These interviews showed that high school and college stress factors differ, but include academics, finances, and social relationships. More research is needed to focus on students’ lived experiences. The generational gap between established researchers and the young adult student experiences is not enough in the fight for mental health. Understanding the problem that is in front of you is the best way to make a change. Conducting this research might be a small step in a large process to make change. Diving into the opinions and feelings of teenagers shows that they are the best experts in their own experiences. Knowing this, less pressure needs to be put on students in both high school and college — specifically as it relates to grades and scholarships leading to a stronger focus on the all-around well-being of students.

Faculty Mentor

Megan Palmer, M.A.

Academic Discipline

College of Hospitality Management



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.