The Relationship Between Credit Load and Depression

Joel A. Makin, Cassie R. Mansheim, Cassandra N. Dyar,
Huntington University

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Abstract This study explored the relationship between credit load and depression among full-time undergraduate students between the ages of 18-24 at a Midwest university. It was predicted that those with a higher credit load would score higher on the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (Zung, 1965). The number of credits for the past school year and the score from the Zung scale were compared, and the correlation between credit load and depression were measured using the Pearson r. Using a .05 level of significance and 45 degrees of freedom, the resultant r was -0.325, which was then compared to a critical value of 0.288. The findings were statistically significant. Contrary to prior research and expectations, a negative correlation was found.

The Effects of Credit Load and Depression “The high prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress symptoms among university students is alarming” (Bayram & Bilgel, 2008, p. 667). The researchers found nearly one third of undergraduate students were suffering from depression. However, this should have come as no surprise because “ undergraduates are in the sociodemographic age span in which rates of psychological distress and disorder are elevated” (Adlaf, Gliksman, Demers, & Newton-Taylor, 2001, p. 68).

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