Table Of Contents
  • Statement of Statistical Hypothesis
  • Sampling and Data Collection
  • Data Presentation and Analysis
  • Interpretation and Discussion of Results
  • Brief Overview of Statistical Findings
  • Study Limitations
  • Summary and Conclusion

Statement of Statistical Hypothesis

The following study goes beyond that of previous studies by going beyond the two categories of those who have more or less than a four-year degree. Instead, the study in question will examine rates of depression across multiple levels of educational attainment. In doing so, it is logical to assume that this will allow researchers to differentiate between the level of effects each level of educational attainment has in order to evaluate the benefits posed to one’s overall mental health. As such, for the purposes of this study, it is predicted that there will prove to be a differentiation between depression rates among the various levels of educational attainment. Because there are two multilevel variables involved, the current study will proceed with the following hypotheses:

H_0: There is no association between Depression rates and levels of educational attainment.

H_a: There is an association between Depression rates and levels of educational attainment.

Sampling and Data Collection

The data utilized in this archival investigation was collected between 2014 and 2018 and was retrieved from the GSS data site. For the purposes of this study, the data utilized was gathered from 1,413 arbitrarily chosen adults in the United States through electronic self-report reviews. The members were prompted to share information about their level of educational attainment and whether or not they were reported to have depression. Members were initially partitioned into groups according to their most elevated level of educational completion at the hour of the examination. Levels of which ranged from those who had dropped out of high school, those who had a graduate high school, and those who held an associate degree, bachelor's degree, or master's degree. At that point, each group was isolated into the individuals who had been told they had depression and the individuals who had not received such a diagnosis.

The investigation procedure for surveying the connection between levels of educational attainment and depression rates rests upon the supposition that the probabilities of achieving a high school diploma or advanced degree are independent or autonomous of depression. Levels of educational attainment fulfillment estimated by ownership of certificates and degrees. Rates of depression were determined according to answers retrieved through a yes / no survey with depression rates being determined by making calculations according to those answering affirmatively throughout each educational attainment level over the total number of participants within each given educational attainment level group. The information gathered was qualitative and categorical, thus requiring a nonparametric appraisal. Because this examination is comprised of two categorical variables with multi-levels, a chi-square test was led to decide whether there was a connection between levels of education and depression rates.

Data Presentation and Analysis

For the purpose of this study, the figures below provide a summary of the data collected. Due to the study being categorized as a scientific study, the standard alpha degree of ∝=.05 was used in evaluating the centrality of study results. Figure 1 details the counts relevant to the data collected for the purposes of this study. Those of which provides an overview of the total participants at each level and their reported status with regard to depression. Among the 1,413 study participants, 271 or 19.18% had been told they have depression. Roughly 58.67% of the depressed populace was comprised of study participants who did not have an advanced degree.

Table 1: Count 

 

Depression

Total

Depressed

Not Depressed

Education

High School Drop Out

22

99

121

High School Diploma

137

537

674

Associate's

34

93

127

Bachelor's

52

271

323

Master's

26

142

168

Total

271

1142

1413

Figure 2 shows the extent of study participants who have reportedly been told they are depressed among each of the educational attainment levels. A review of the data reveals that most of those who report being depressed have obtained only a high school diploma. Be that as it may, high school dropouts made up a more modest extent of those reported to suffer from depression.

Figure 1: Depression Proportions AmongEducation Attainments Levels
Chi squared test of independence
Figures 3A and 3B detail evaluation results for both independence and symmetric measurements as revealed by the chi-square test. Upon completion, the degrees of freedom were determined by the total number of educational attainment level categories absent of one and the chi-statistic was revealed to be χ^2= 8.84 with a p-value of p=.065.

Table 2: Chi-Square Tests

 

Value

df

Asymptotic Significance (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

8.836a

4

.065

Likelihood Ratio

8.605

4

.072

Linear-by-Linear Association

2.350

1

.125

N of Valid Cases

1413

 

 

a. 0 cells (0.0%) have an expected count of less than 5. The minimum expected count is 8.6.

Table 3: Symmetric Measures

 

Value

Approximate Significance

Nominal by Nominal

Phi

.079

.065

Cramer's V

.079

.065

N of Valid Cases

1413

 

Upon initial assessment, data indicates the sample depression rate (19.18%) to be increasingly elevated to that of what is reported by the National Institute of Mental Health is said to be a 7.1% prevalence among all U.S. adults (National Institute of Mental Health, 2017). Being that the purpose of this examination is to identify whether depression rates proved to differentiate between the levels of educational attainment, the depression rate for the U.S. adult populace reported by the NIMH (7.1%) was utilized to survey anticipated values. As such, figures 4A and 4B, detail the chi-square test outcomes according to n the normal qualities of depression rates when analyzed at a prevalence of 7.1% for each level of educational attainment.

Table4: Education

 

Observed N

Expected N

Residual

High School Drop Out

22

8.6

13.4

High School Diploma

137

47.9

89.1

Associate's

34

9.0

25.0

Bachelor's

52

22.9

29.1

Master's

26

11.9

14.1

Total

271

 

 

Table 5: Test Statistics

 

Education

Chi-Square

8.836

Df

4

Asymp. Sig.

.065

Interpretation and Discussion of Results

The study in question hypothesized that there is an association between Depression rates and levels of educational attainment. Be that as it may, according to the results of the chi-square test for independence, χ^2 (4, N = 1,413) = 8.84, p=.065 (V= 0.079), the study failed to reject the null hypothesis and we can therefore conclude that there is no association between Depression rates and levels of educational attainment. The results also revealed that no significant changes were observed in the depression status as the level of educational attainment increases. However, participants with a high school diploma are most likely to experience depression. Because of this pointing to a failed association between depression rates and levels of educational attainment the H_a would thus be rejected.

Throughout the course of this study, it was revealed that among the 271 participants with depression, a staggering 51% proved to have only completed a high school level education. Be that as it may, this particular populace is overrepresented, consisting of 47.70% of the absolute study sample as a whole. Among the depression rates for participants in the high school drop-out and high school graduate groups, high school dropouts revealed a depression rate of 18.18% with high school graduates concluded with a rate of 20.33%. Both of them proved to be lower than that of their counterparts with an Associate's degree which revealed a depression rate of 26.77%. Results revealed that study participants with an associate’s degree proved to serve as the populace with the most elevated depression rates (26.77%) among the entirety of the educational attainment level categories. These three educational attainment levels and their depression rate percentage results repudiate past discoveries that depression rates decline with higher levels of educational attainment. This could be explained as a result of a poor balance in representation for the group in question, as this sub-sample populace was among the two smallest groups of the study. Further investigations with a more balanced conveyance to represent each level of educational attainment populace would serve to prove these outcomes more definitively. That said, it was revealed that those with rates for those in the high school graduate group (20.33%) proved to be higher than that of their counterparts with a bachelor's degree (16.10%). The negative connection between depression rates and level of educational attainment proceeds into the group of participants holding master's degrees with a reported depression rate of 15.47%.

The finding that there is no significant relationship between depression and education attainment implies that some other factors not considered in this study play an important role and that underlying mechanisms may possibly be accessible to interventions. For example, when the social causation model would be studied in more detail.

Brief Overview of Statistical Findings

This study investigated the relationship between depression and levels of educational attainment. Adopting the Chi-Square test of independence to determine whether levels of educational attainment can determine influences whether a person will become depressed or not. From the results of the chi-square test for independence, χ^2 (4, N = 1,413) = 8.84, p=.065 (V= 0.079), the study failed to reject the null hypothesis which implies that there is no association between Depression rates and levels of educational attainment. The results also revealed that no significant changes were observed in the depression status as the level of educational attainment increases. However, participants with a high school diploma are most likely to experience depression.

Study Limitations

Limitations of this study include the lack of consideration for the demographics of study participants such as gender, financial status, nationalities, etc. As it is logical to assume that this leaves room for error by over and under portrayals which could thus negatively impact the results. As such, further examinations should be led with a bigger, more well-balanced populace before the outcomes should be considered generalized. These additional studies should likewise incorporate an examination of member demographics. Furthermore, no data was gathered on the individuals who had finished their Doctorate's degrees which is something that would be worth evaluating in order to see if such patterns proceed.

It is worth noting that a portion of the study participants could have currently been understudies in pursuit of furthering their educational attainment levels, as studies have demonstrated undergrads will in general be more pushed, on edge, and discouraged. This may have in part contributed to altering the outcomes, as this investigation expected participants to be adults who had finished school or their planned education in its entirety. Not to mention, the information was gathered through self-report surveys, which means placing faith in the expectation that members responded in a genuine fashion.

Summary and Conclusion

 The results of this investigation neglected to demonstrate that those who attain higher levels of education are in fact less likely to experience depression, as indicated by previous studies. This could in part be explained by the poor-quality populace dissemination of educational attainment levels in accordance with populace sample sizes as this leaves room for various inaccuracies. Future investigations should ensure that all levels of educational attainment are more uniformly conveyed in the examination sample then check to see if the same results remain constant. Lastly, future investigations should likewise seek to determine whether or not other underlining factors among those with higher levels of educational attainment exist that further secures them against depression, for example, gender, race, sexual orientation, financial status, and so on.