Wednesday, August 14, 2013

‘Overeducation’ Linked with Poor Mental Health

That is the title of this article that I am reviewing today. It says: “People with too little education to meet their needs are known to be at increased risk of certain mental health problems, but now a new study suggests that too much education may also have detrimental effects on mental health.
 People in the study who were ‘overeducated’ – who had more years of education than their jobs required—were at an increased risk of depression, the researchers said.”  In time like now you would think they would just be happy to have a job.  I am different than most people I guess I have master’s degree and yet I scan medical records that do not require a degree. Although I have a second job in Research and Development for the same company that does challenge me so I am happy with both jobs.

Well let’s get to the why of this article: “The study analyzed information from more than 16,600 employed people age 25 to 60 in 21 countries in Europe.  Researchers measured participants’ levels of depression based on their answers to survey questions, and presented their results here Saturday (Aug. 10) at the American Sociological Association meeting. The reason overeducated people may have an increased risk of mental distress could be because, by definition, they are not challenged by their jobs, and cannot use all their skills they acquired during their education, said study researcher Piet Bracke, a professor of sociology at Ghent University in Belgium.” I guess I am different that most folks.
It does not bother me, maybe because of the way I received my master’s degree.  I only went to college to get a bachelor’s degree and start work right away.  It was in human services and I was a drug and alcohol counselor in which I wanted to work with young people to not have to go through all I went through.  Although doing my internship I was working with a young man who I though was doing well in my groups although the people I worked for wanted to throw this young man out of the program because of the way his parents thought.  They never asked my how this young man was doing.  That made me mad and when I finished my internship and college.  That summer they asked me to work for them and I said no I am going for my master’s and that is how and why I received it.
I am very stubborn person and I remembered the counseling or lack of it I received when I was on probation twice for DUI.  He never counseled me or even tried although the reason why is a whole another story in itself.  “The new study also found that having highly educated people in a given country can have detrimental effects on the mental health of all people with college degrees.  In countries where more education did not provide significantly more job security or salary, even those with degrees who had jobs that matched their skill level saw declines in their mental health on average, Bracke said.  If the economic returns of education decrease, it affects the mental health of all the well-educated, Bracke said.” It looks like it could happen to anyone that works.
The end of the article says: “While people may start out with a job that they are overqualified for in the beginning of their career, they need opportunities to move upward in their field within a few years, or they could experience declines in mental health, Bracke said.”  I guess that makes sense.  You need to feel like you’re moving up and accomplishing something.

No comments:

Post a Comment