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Financial difficulties and psychosis risk in British undergraduate students: a longitudinal analysis

Thomas Richardson (Mental Health Recovery Team North, Solent NHS Trust, Portsmouth, UK) (School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Mma Yeebo (Mental Health Recovery Team North, Solent NHS Trust, Portsmouth, UK)
Megan Jansen (Mental Health Recovery Team North, Solent NHS Trust, Portsmouth, UK) (School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Peter Elliott (School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Ron Roberts (Department of Psychology, Kingston University, Kingston, UK)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 2 May 2018

Issue publication date: 25 June 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether financial variables impact psychosis risk over time in students.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 408 first-year British undergraduate students completed measures assessing psychosis risk and finances at three time points.

Findings

Greater financial difficulties increased psychosis risk cross sectionally both in terms of symptoms and distress. Other financial variables such as student loan amount were not significant. In longitudinal analysis financial difficulties increase psychotic symptoms and distress over time, but there was no impact of psychotic symptoms on later financial difficulties.

Research limitations/implications

The study used a relatively small and heavily female sample. Future research is needed to confirm the findings.

Practical implications

Whilst amount of debt does not appear to impact psychotic symptoms in students, greater financial difficulties appear to increase the risk of psychosis over time. Professionals working with students should be aware of this potential link.

Originality/value

This is the first time a longitudinal study has examined the effect of finances on psychosis symptoms.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all those who helped with recruitment for the study. This work was funded by Doctorate in Clinical Psychology funding through the UK National Health Service and Research Capability Funding from the UK National Institute for Health Research.

Conflict of Interest: Thomas Richardson has received consultancy fees to advise a company about financial difficulties and mental health problems. The other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Citation

Richardson, T., Yeebo, M., Jansen, M., Elliott, P. and Roberts, R. (2018), "Financial difficulties and psychosis risk in British undergraduate students: a longitudinal analysis", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 61-68. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-12-2016-0056

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited