Faculty Sponsor

Julie Brandy, Terry Kessler



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-14-2020


Purpose: In a national study of college students during the fall of 2017, a total of 31,463 students reported feeling hopeless (51.7%), being overwhelmed (86.5%), feeling so depressed it was difficult to function (39.3%), and seriously considered suicide (12.1%) (American College Health Association, 2017). These statistics represent a major concern regarding health care practice because it is a severe mental health crisis that can disrupt students’ daily lives. The purpose of this research is to amplify awareness of freshman student depression to gain knowledge about the mental health of college students using grounded theory methodology.

Theoretical/conceptual framework: Attending college for the first time can be a life changing event for many students. Depression, whether formally diagnosed or self-identified, is an increasingly significant problem in emerging adults.

Method: Grounded theory methodology will be used to examine the experience of depression during the freshmen year of college. Purposive sampling will be used to recruit sophomore students who identify as having had depression during their freshman year. Recruitment will continue until data saturation occurs. Following informed consent, interviews will begin with one open-ended question of “What was the experience of your freshman year in college?” Interviews will be recorded, transcribed, and constantly compared for emerging themes throughout the data collection process. Data will be analyzed using NVivo software.

Results/conclusions: Results will describe the initial categories associated with depression in this population. These preliminary categories will help provide a more in depth understanding of the experience of depression.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Carley Ellenberger, Marlaina Hounshell, Maddie McKibben, and Mireya Mota are all junior nursing major students. Grace Gass is a graduate nursing student.