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Keywords:

  • college students;
  • mental health;
  • culture, identity

Objective

This article provides an introduction to the special issue on college student mental health. It gives an overview of the establishment of the Multi-Site University Study of Identity and Culture (MUSIC) collaborative by a group of national experts on culture and identity. Information about the procedures used to collect a nationally represented sample of college students are provided.

Method

Data were collected from 30 university sites across the United States. The sample comprised 10,573 undergraduate college students, of which 73% were women, 63% White, 9% African American/Black, 14% Latino/Hispanic, 13% Asian American, and 1% Other.

Results

The special issue comprises a compilation of 8 studies that used the dataset specifically created to examine the issues of emerging adults, culture, and identity.

Conclusions

Student mental health problems are a growing concern on college campuses. Studies covered in this special issue have implications for policy development regarding college alcohol use and traumatic victimization, include attention to underrepresented minority and immigrant groups on college campuses, and focus on positive as well as pathological aspects of the college experience.