The impact of interpersonal stress in romantic relationships on college students' mental health and academic performance
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Problems in relationships are one of the leading reasons for why college students seek counseling at university mental health centers (Green, Lowry, & Kopta, 2003). Interpersonal stress has been linked to higher levels of depression and anxiety, more problems with substance use, and higher suicidal ideation (Simon & Barrett, 2010; Drum, Brownson, Burton Denmark, & Smith, 2009). Research suggests that interpersonal stress experienced in romantic relationships has a more severe impact on well-being than stress experienced in any other relationship. Stress in general has been linked to impaired memory, lack of ability to focus and concentrate, lack of motivation, and lower retention rates in school (Duran, Kelly, & Rotaru, 2011; Linn & Zeppa, 1984). Due to the pervasive nature of interpersonal problems, there is a need for proper implementation of intervention and services on college campuses to properly support college students. This report examines the effects of interpersonal stress, and more specifically romantic stress, on college students’ well being and academic performance, as well as details possible counseling implications.