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Depression in Belgian first‐year university students: A longitudinal study of self‐definition, interpersonal relatedness, mentalizing, and integration

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Despite evidence of increasing prevalence of depression in university students, few studies investigated how depression evolves over the first months at university. We investigate severity of depression among first-year university students during their first semester at university, and whether it was associated with impairments in personality, mentalizing (or reflective functioning), and social and academic integration. Participants in this two-wave prospective study were 377 Belgian first-year students in 2018 and 2019. Results showed that maladaptive interpersonal relatedness and self-definition at the start of the first semester (T1) were prospectively associated with increases in the prevalence and severity of depression at the end of the semester (T2). Uncertainty, but not certainty, with regard to mentalizing was positively associated with severity of depression at T2 and mediated the association between personality dimensions and severity of depression. The implications of these findings for depression prevention and intervention strategies in first-year university students are discussed.
Tijdschrift: In Session
ISSN: 0021-9762
Issue: 7
Volume: 77
Pagina's: 1715 - 1731
Jaar van publicatie:2021
Toegankelijkheid:Open