Family support and psychological distress among commuter college students

Jennifer Parker, Abigail Yacoub, Sahira Mughal, Fadi Mamari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess how perceptions of family support (instrumental and relational-emotional) are related to psychological distress among commuter students and whether household income, gender, year in college and first-generation status moderate this association. Participants: Undergraduate students at a suburban commuter college in the Northeast during October/November 2019. Methods: Students completed an online survey comprised of measures of psychological distress, family support and sociodemographic information. Data were analyzed using independent t tests, bivariate correlations, and regressions. Results: On average, participants exhibited “high distress,” mean = 23.29 (SD = 8.93). Distress scores differed by income background and gender. Lower income students and females exhibited significantly higher levels of distress. Increased relational-emotional support was associated with decreased distress for lower income and female students. Instrumental support was not associated distress. Conclusion: A family component to mental health counseling could be beneficial for commuter students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-488
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Family support and psychological distress among commuter college students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this