For most freshmen entering Penn State, transitioning to college life can be a challenge. But for Patrick Dix, it was nearly debilitating.
Dix, now a senior double majoring in classics and ancient Mediterranean studies and history, was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder during his senior year of high school, an illness that made his first few weeks at Penn State difficult. “The first day was really rough,” Dix said. “I actually almost skipped my first class in college because of my anxiety.”
When Lori Francis was planning her trip to South Africa, she expected to return with research ideas and new partnerships with faculty members from the University of the Western Cape (UWC). After the whirlwind three-day trip to Cape Town, she arrived back at University Park with a lot more, including plans to go back—twice.
In their Social Science & Medicinepaper, Assistant Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations and Sociology Sarah Damaske, Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Medicine Joshua Smyth, and Social Psychology and Women’s Studies Doctoral Candidate Matthew Zadawski, report that participants had less stress, as indicated by lower cortisol levels, when they were at work than when they were at home.
To date, little research has been conducted on health disparities that may be occurring as children enter kindergarten. A recent Penn State study found that, compared to otherwise similar white children, those who are black or from non-English speaking households, are less likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.