A lack of educational opportunities have always been linked with higher rates of mental illness, but new research from Ghent University in Belgium finds that too much education can correlate having a negative impact on mental health as well. According to researchers, individuals who were \”overeducated\” C those whose academic preparation was more rigorous than their job required C were found to be at a higher risk for depression.
The study checked out nearly 17,000 people between 25 and 60 employed in over 20 countries around Europe. The conclusions were presented in the latest meeting from the American Sociological Association at the begining of August.
Rachael Rettner, a senior writer for LiveScience, explains that higher rates of depression in the overeducated demographic might be explained because they\’re simply not feeling challenged by their jobs.
The reason overeducated people may have an increased risk of?mental distress?could be because, obviously, they are not challenged by their jobs, and can\’t use all of the skills they acquired during their education, said study researcher Piet Bracke, a professor of sociology at Ghent University in Belgium.
They also provide jobs with less status and prestige, and have a tendency to have unbalanced support networks – they rely on others for support more frequently than those people are able to provide it – which may contribute to their depression risk, Bracke told LiveScience.
Researchers also determined that in countries in which a large proportion of people has advanced degrees, the speed of depression of all college graduates is greater than in countries that don\’t. According to Bracke, even individuals who were used in jobs that took benefit of their skills fully were more prone to be depressed if they lived in a country where this was often incorrect. Bracke said that this problem existed in most nations where educational roi declined.
Still, Bracke asserted he did not consider the growth of higher education a bad thing.
But in many western countries, labor markets are slow to trap up with the increasing numbers of overeducated people, resulting in a lack of challenging jobs of these people, Bracke said.
“At the country level, when the number of people with university education keeps rising, [and] if there isn’t an equivalent upgrading from the labor market, it will deteriorate the mental health of people,” Bracke said.