Anxiety and Christian Faith in College Students: Through the Lens of Provider and Student Perspectives




Noffsker, Naya

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Anxiety can impact individuals in every area of life, and this condition continues to become more prevalent. In recent decades, there has been an increased research focus on anxiety and its various manifestations. The college years can be an especially turbulent time for some individuals, with unique factors that can contribute to anxiety. For many students, faith is an important way to cope with the experience of anxiety. To address this issue, this thesis reviews the literature on anxiety in this population, especially among college students, and with special reference to the impact of religious faith and spiritual life. This is an understudied area within the research field on adolescent anxiety, which inspired the present project. Qualitative interviews were conducted in order to collect data from a variety of mental health providers and current students who have dealt with anxiety in a Christian context. Providers in pastoral care, clinical psychology, counseling, and chaplaincy were interviewed about their experiences helping students of faith in the Waco area cope with anxiety. Multiple students were interviewed as well in order to share their personal experiences coping with anxiety during their college years, with a special focus on the importance of their Christian faith. Finally, this thesis includes a discussion of common themes that emerged across these interviews and practical applications of these findings are provided.



Faith., Anxiety., Mental health., Counseling., College students., Christian faith., Stress., Religion.