Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.S. in Counselor Education and Human Services


The constructs of stress, support, depression, and academic performance have been mostly addressed on an individual basis. Stress research with children and adolescents has not been as rigorous as research with adults. There are also a number of gaps in the research literature related to support. The decrease in age of the first onset of depressive episodes, along with the high prevalence of depression in adolescence, emphasizes the need to expand research in this area. Also, few studies have attempted to identify interpersonal variables that may serve as antecedents of school achievement. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among stress, support, depression, and academic performance. A sample of senior high school students from two school districts in a rural county in northwest Ohio was the participants. Data was obtained from 218 students, who were surveyed using an instrument designed specifically for the study. The relationships between the variables in this model were tested by a statistical methodology called structural equation modeling (SEM). The five observed variables considered to measure Depression were all considered moderate to very good measures, with the items within the Depressed Affect subscale serving as the most valid measure. The results indicated Academic Efficacy was a much better measure of Academic Performance versus Grades. Family served as the most valid measure of Support. Although weak, there was a significant positive relationship between Stress and Depression. There was a significant negative relationship between Depression and Academic Performance. There was also a significant negative relationship between Depression and Support. The relationship between Depression and Support was stronger than the relationship between Depression and Academic Performance. The relationship between Support and Academic Performance was the weakest of all correlations and was not statistically significant. Thus, it appeared that Support may not have been working as a substantive buffer against Stress. One disconcerting finding within this study was the high percentage (40%) of students citing significant depressive symptomatology, indicating a greater risk for major depressive disorder. The overarching goal of the study was to increase awareness for the need for mental health services in the schools.


Teenagers Mental health, Depression in adolescence, Academic achievement Psychological aspects, Stress in adolescence

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