Variables associated with the need for support in mental health check-up of new undergraduate students


Tsukasa Sasaki, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Health Service Center, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan. Email:


Aims:  Frequent onset of several mental disorders starts around undergraduate age for university students. Mental health check-ups of the new students might help provide them with useful supports for improving their mental health. However, few studies have examined the validity of the check-up methods.

Methods:  Whether the scores of a five-factor personality inventory (NEO-FFI) at matriculation predict the needs of mental care and treatment during the first year of the undergraduate course were examined in 8287 new students of a university in Tokyo.

Results:  Logistic regression showed that high neuroticism, low extraversion and high openness of NEO-FFI, majoring in literature/philosophy/ psychology and living out of home were associated with need for mental care/treatment, in addition to the previous use of mental care services.

Conclusions:  Personality inventory such as five-factor ones may be a useful supplemental tool for mental health check-up at matriculation to predict future needs of mental support in undergraduate university students. Students who smoke, live alone out of home and major in subjects such as philosophy might need to be more carefully supported than other students.