It’s surprising to me that I’ve actually settled on an idea as most of my life is incredibly undecided. I have lots of ideas and lots of interests, it was difficult to narrow down the single concept I wanted to explore rather than looking at things more multifaceted. I discovered during this decision making process that narrowing down your ideas not only helps you in the long run (regarding research), but I still have the opportunity to launch a multifaceted approach in explaining my topic.
RESEARCH ARTICLE PROSPECTUS:
- I am working on the topic of how cultural influence (individualist vs collectivist cultures) can affect mental health (anxiety/depression) of students. I want to find out how students behave in accordance to their respective culture, in order to help my reader understand better the connection between culture and mental health. (China-America-Sweden.)
I studied abroad for 9 months last year and was shocked to find so many intricately different individuals who all shared my same age, gender, socioeconomic class, family structure etc etc.. I found that different cultures have very different ways of seeing the world.
For example, my friends and locals that I met who are of Spanish heritage were aghast when I told them that in America everyone locks their car, house, even suitcase whenever they get a chance. In Spain, petty stealing and crimes similar to that are almost unheard of. Does this factor have anything to do with their mental health growing up? Where as American kids wouldn’t think twice to lock their house when leaving, because it is something we have always been accustomed to. Does this make American’s more anxious because they have this predisposition ingrained in their minds that someone has the desire to steal from them? Another issue is how we view races in other cultures. In the grand scheme of things America is extremely diverse, but do we view other cultures in the same light as someone from Sweden; a minimally diversified society? Does this implicate how we view ourselves as part of a group, or individually? Those are just a few aspects I will be exploring as I delve deeper into this topic.
But from a students standpoint, I will be researching mostly studies done on the mental health of young people and/or students in countries: United States, Sweden, and China. Three distinctly different cultures with different governments in place, everything is essentially opposite between the three cultures and I believe that I will find some gratifying information on why students behave they do, in direct result from the culture they came from.
I will investigate the differences between the collectivist cultures of Sweden and China and compare that data to that of an individualist culture a.k.a American students and see if there are any similarities that I can point out. Also, between a capitalistic, communist and socialist nations, I’m sure the discrepancies between the others will amount to many. I will also be interested in looking at socioeconomic class, race, gender, nutrition, religion, and family structure to aid my research. I believe this topic will be worthwhile to research because it can help the viewer understand the behavior and customs of others while traveling or studying abroad themselves.
I’m aiming to target students as my audience to see how we can either change or implicate different practices to help us maintain mental health better as students. My boyfriend is from Romania and had a completely different experience than I did while going through college and I think the differences in how young adults hold themselves while at universities is undeniably altered from culture to culture, and I want to find out why that is.
Questions I want to answer:
HOW CULTURE INFLUENCES STUDENTS’ MENTAL HEALTH IN CHINA, SWEDEN, AND THE UNITED STATES.
Is anxiety disorder only an epidemic in the United States or do other countries have problems with it, or do they even recognize it as a problem all together?
What are the mental health frameworks in place in these countries that are available to students?
Does the cost of college in the US, China, and Sweden provide reason for depression/anxiety?
How does your gender determine mental stability in these cultures?
Do students view themselves as part of a group or singularly as an individual in these cultures?
How do students react to racial diversity due to their cultures social constructs?
- Psychological reactions to environment
- Socioeconomic class
- Religion implicating mental health
- government intervention in universities
Academic Search Premier
Buzdar, Muhammad Ayub, et al. “Relationship Between Religiosity and Psychological Symptoms in Female University Students.” Journal of Religion and Health, vol. 54, no. 6, 2015, pp. 2155–2163., http://www.jstor.org/stable/24735952.
Patton, George C., et al. “Cannabis Use And Mental Health In Young People: Cohort Study.” BMJ: British Medical Journal, vol. 325, no. 7374, 2002, pp. 1195–1198. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25452958.
Downing Jr., Martin J. “Relationship Between Excoriation Practices, Depression, Anxiety, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Among a College Student Sample.” Counseling & Clinical Psychology Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, Jan. 2006, pp. 31–45. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=19998238&site=ehost-live&authtype=sso&custid=plymouth.
YAHONG LI, and ZHIPENG XU. “Mental Disorders and Related Factors in College Students from Nontraditional Families in China.” Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, vol. 43, no. 1, Feb. 2015, pp. 167–174. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2224/sbp.2015.43.1.167
Proposed Time Line for Research Article:
Now- March 5th: I plan to gather all my sources and begin to extract information I can use for my essay and complete Precis.
March 6-13th: Begin outlining paragraphs and connect with Hannah or Matt about info I’ve found thus far. Complete Outline.
March 14th-20th: Begin writing first draft of essay. Be sure to ask for help and try to stick to the plan.
March 20th-27th: Be sure research is matching with objectives of article and continue drafting essay.
March 28th- April 10th: Last thoughts integrated into essay, ask Hannah or Matt what they think of the thing.
April 11th-21st: Talk with as many people as possible who are willing to read the essay and get their perspective. Visit writing center. Visit IDS office for additional tips or additions I need.
April 23rd: Final draft is due!
APPLIED PROJECT PROSPECTUS:
For my applied project I am interested in conducting a podcast to speak to different people who are from other cultures and ask them about what cultural differences they notice and how they adapt to their new environments.
This podcast can include American students who had an interesting time in a really foreign setting as well, what they noticed and how they dealt with it. Are there trends between
I am interested in asking the interviewees about how they felt their mental, physical and emotional health was upheld while abroad both in the United States or other countries. This is interesting to me because it will help highlight some of the untold stories about very real things that effect many of us while traveling or studying. I am eager to see what the subjects choose to explain, ignore and provide insight for about a culture that isn’t their own. I believe there will be many surprising experienced that I will encounter as the person facilitating the podcast but also for the speakers and the listeners. There is so much we don’t know because we don’t have the opportunity or desire to listen, and now we are going to have that opportunity. I’m interested in conducting 5 episodes between 3 students from other countries and 2 students who studied abroad who are American. The reason I want to explore 3 from foreign countries and 2 from America is mostly just for the comparison aspect of research. I want to compare the people I interview and see if there are any similarities between how students feel in general about being in University and how that can change when you’re placed in an environment unfamiliar to you.
I think I will come up with baseline questions that I will ask all my interviewees and then let the conversation escalate in any direction the interviewee finds most important to speak upon.
February 20th-Feb 27th: Outline episode questions for all interviewees.
Feb 27th- March 5th: Narrow down list of students who would be of interest for the podcast and email them
March 6th- 13th: Record one Podcasts and edit the footage and also analyze conversation in text to post on my ePort.
March 14th-April 3rd: 2 more interview and analyzation, comparison may begin to develop here which will be recorded in my ePort discussions about the episodes.
April 4th- 16th: Final interview and editing of episodes. Begin to string a synopsis together and write about the different conversations and what we can learn from them.
April 18th-23rd: write the reflection piece about applied project. Turn in reflection.