Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy





First Advisor

Robert D. Reason


Concerns about college students’ mental health have prompted attention in recent years. Studies have shown that mental health problems can negatively influence academic performance. Fortunately, positive mental health can serve as a buffer against mental health problems. Integrating a focus on mental health into policies and practices can enhance the educational environment. Not only can policies, practices, and campus community members influence campus climates, but also campus climates can encourage mental health. This dissertation makes two broad contributions to the literature. First, it examines perceptions of campus climates that support civic learning and their influence on mental health. It also explores whether the relationship between campus climates and mental health vary by race or ethnicity. Second, it explores the factor structure of mental health for college students, an area seldom examined despite increasing emphasis on mental health.

Findings indicated that mental health was not different for students in the sample and that the institution a student attended had little influence on mental health. Perceived campus climates related to ethical and moral reasoning, perspective taking, and contributing to a larger community were significant predictors of mental health for many students. Findings indicated that a bi-factor structure of mental health provided the best fit for the data. The broad Mental Health factor accounted for most of the variance, thus making it the most reliable measure. The specific emotional, social, and psychological well-being factors minimally contributed.


Copyright Owner

Joshua J. Mitchell



File Format


File Size

99 pages