A new study from University of Alberta has revealed that recent university graduates are more prone to depression and anger.
Moreover, key events like leaving home and becoming a parent may also increase their odds of developing depression and anger.
The researchers examined almost 600 Alberta graduates between 20-29 years old and examined their mental health symptoms for seven years post-graduation. They also looked at how key events like leaving home and becoming a parent were related to depression and anger.
The study showed that young people in the early years of adulthood were more likely to experience depressive symptoms, the longer they stay at home, or if they return home after graduation.
Previous research has found that more than half of students under 25 in four-year university programs lived with their parents.
The younger participants were more depressed at times when they lived on their own, while older participants were more depressed while they lived with their parents.
"Some key events, such as leaving home, may throw emerging adults a little off kilter, depending on the timing of the transition," said Nancy Galambos, University of Alberta psychology professor.
"Leaving home too soon can be challenging in ways that have the potential to affect mental health," she added.
The researchers also found increase in anger when participants became parents.
"Although we generally welcome parenthood as a positive experience, we found that people who became parents became angrier, and this was especially pronounced for mothers," said Harvey Krahn, University of Alberta chair of sociology.
"The transition to parenthood produces a new set of demands on the couple that may be difficult to cope with as parents have to negotiate a whole new set of family responsibilities," Krahn added.
However, over the seven-year period, the study showed a significant decrease in depressive symptoms over the seven years. Even expressed anger declined over time after graduation, suggesting improved mental health.
The study appears in the Journal of Marriage and Family.