The Effect of Anxiety on Choice of College Major

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Authors
Gilbert, Allison
Issue Date
2024-05-08
Keywords
Description/Abstract
Anxiety is a prominent issue that is faced by college students. Another important issue that is faced by college students is the decision of college major. Many factors have been found to have an impact on a student’s choice of major including gender, race, and socio-economic status. Anxiety is not a factor that has been studied much in the past in relation to choice of a major. Given the large number of students who have been found to struggle with anxiety, this is a relationship that should be examined. Based on previous literature, it was hypothesized that students with higher levels of trait anxiety would be more likely to choose majors that would offer more career variability. The present study consisted of 42 participants from a convenience sample of college students. Participants completed the HAM-A to examine their levels of trait anxiety and the GAD-7 to examine state anxiety. Participants also noted any major or minor that they were enrolled in. A correlational analysis was performed on the data showing that, although the data was trending in the direction consistent with the hypothesis, it was not statistically significant. Further analysis was done showing that, in this sample, female participants chose more difficult majors than male participants, while male participants had more variability in both major difficulty and major career variability. These findings are important in furthering our understanding of choice of major and how best to guide students in their choice of major.
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