The Mental Distress of Distance Education Students: The Importance of Work and Family Roles

Waterhouse, Philippa; Samra, Rajvinder and Lucassen, Mathijs (2020). The Mental Distress of Distance Education Students: The Importance of Work and Family Roles. Distance Education (In press).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2020.1821606

Abstract

To date, research concerning the work-family-study interface remains limited and has focused on younger students enrolled in campus-based courses. This paper aims to examine the associations between distance education students’ levels of mental distress with: (a) their work and family roles; and (b) work/family-study conflict; and (c) work/family-study facilitation. The analyses utilise the self-reported data from 318 distance education final year undergraduates studying in one faculty at a single university. Multinomial regression was used to explore relationships, controlling for age, sex, ethnicity and educational attainment at registration. Unpaid caring responsibilities, reported work-study conflict and family-study conflict were associated with an increased risk of reporting ‘higher’ mental distress, and work-study facilitation and family-study facilitation were associated with a lower risk of reporting ‘higher’ mental distress.

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