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The Impact of Relationship Issues on the Mental Health of Students in Higher Education

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Mental Health and Higher Education in Australia

Abstract

Relationship difficulties are at the core of why most people seek counselling. The same is true in the context of higher education. Many students who seek counselling at university report experiencing issues in their intimate relationships. Transitioning to university is a major life milestone. This is a time filled with possibilities, when individuals evaluate and make important life and career choices. Also, for some, this time represents the beginning of new relationships with romantic partners. While these intimate connections can be a source of security and foster well-being, some individuals experience relationship issues that interfere with their academic performance, life satisfaction, and future success. Evidence shows that both negative relationship quality and relationship break-ups are strongly associated with poor mental health outcomes contributing to academic failure, and sometimes leading to, university attrition, and economic burden. More specifically, relationship difficulties are a significant contributor to anxiety, depression, and suicidality. This chapter will present a theoretical discussion of the literature to highlight the importance of understanding intimate relationships in the context of higher education and the effect of relationship issues (including conflict, lack of relationship skills, self-handicapping and self-sabotage, and personality traits) on the mental health of individuals, with implications for research and practice.

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Correspondence to Raquel Peel .

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Peel, R., Ward, N. (2022). The Impact of Relationship Issues on the Mental Health of Students in Higher Education. In: Francis, A.P., Carter, M.A. (eds) Mental Health and Higher Education in Australia. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-8040-3_14

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-8040-3_14

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Singapore

  • Print ISBN: 978-981-16-8039-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-16-8040-3

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