A Grounded Theory Investigation Into Sophomore Students' Recall of Depression During Their Freshman Year in College: A Pilot Study

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Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services


Using a grounded theory approach, the current descriptive qualitative design was conducted with sophomore students to understand the meaning participants gave their freshman experiences with depression. Twelve participants were recruited using scripted class announcements across campus. After informed consent, interviews began with the question: What was the experience of your freshman year in college? All interviews were completed with the primary investigator and transcribed verbatim. Interviews were analyzed using constant comparative methodology. Data collection continued until saturation was achieved. Four major categories emerged, including the category of symptoms and emotions. This category included the subcategories expressions of stress, changes in eating habits, sleep issues, and procrastination. Descriptive examples of each were found throughout the interview data. With greater understanding of living with depression as a college freshman, health care and college student affairs professionals will have additional evidence to guide their practices.