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Study Links Student Loans to Stress, Depression
It may sound obvious, but debt can be a major strain on a person's mental health. So, it's interesting that a recent study is among the first to explore the link between student loans and a decrease in mental well-being.
It may sound obvious, but debt can be a major strain on a person's mental health. So, it's interesting that a recent study, published in Social Science & Medicine, is among the first to establish a link between student loans and a decrease in mental well-being within the scientific community.
Melissa Dahl from NYMag reported on the study, saying that this finding won't be a surprise to anyone who has endured the soul-crushing strain of student debt. Katrina M. Walsemann of the University of South Carolina led the study. She reports that 40 percent of Americans under the age of 30 have some student debt, and the average amount of debt they carry is in the ballpark of $23,300.
Since this kind of debt is so pervasive among Americans, it warrants some scrutiny given how consumer debt from what Dahl calls, “an overly loved credit card,” is known to cause psychological issues. Walsemann and her team sought to answer two questions from this research:
“1) What is the association between the cumulative amount of student loans borrowed over the course of schooling and psychological functioning when individuals are 25–31 years old?
2) What is the association between annual student loan borrowing and psychological functioning among currently enrolled college students?”
Walsemann and her team analyzed response data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which surveyed 4,643 Americans. The researchers accounted for potential modifiers, such as parental wealth, college enrollment, and education in their assessments. With all these factors accounted for, the team found that the higher the student debt, the more likely they suffered from depression.
Walsemann spoke to ScienceDaily on the results of her team's findings, explaining the psychology behind the stress:
"We are speculating that part of the reason that these types of loans are so stressful is the fact that you cannot defer them; they follow you for the rest of your life until you pay them off.”
The researchers also suggest that it's not the poorest among us that are taking the worst of the debt crisis:
"We speculate that the American middle class is suffering the most from post-graduation debt, since they do not qualify for governmental assistance, nor is their family able to take on the bulk of the costs associated with college."
Read more at NYMag.
Photo Credit: Dooder/Shutterstock
A cave in France contains man’s earliest-known structures that had to be built by Neanderthals who were believed to be incapable of such things.
In a French cave deep underground, scientists have discovered what appear to be 176,000-year-old man-made structures. That's 150,000 years earlier than any that have been discovered anywhere before. And they could only have been built by Neanderthals, people who were never before considered capable of such a thing.
Water may be far more abundant on the lunar surface than previously thought.
- Scientists have long thought that water exists on the lunar surface, but it wasn't until 2018 that ice was first discovered on the moon.
- A study published Monday used NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy to confirm the presence of molecular water..
- A second study suggests that shadowy regions on the lunar surface may also contain more ice than previously thought.
Credits: NASA/Daniel Rutter<p>Still, it's not as if the moon is dripping wet. The observations suggest that a cubic meter of the lunar surface (in the Clavius crater site, at least) contains water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million. That's roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water. In comparison, the same plot of land in the Sahara desert contains about 100 times more water.</p><p>But a second study suggests other parts of the lunar surface also contain water — and potentially lots of it. Also publishing their findings in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-1198-9#_blank" target="_blank">Nature Astronomy</a> on Monday, the researchers used the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to study "cold traps" near the moon's polar regions. These areas of the lunar surface are permanently covered in shadows. In fact, about 0.15 percent of the lunar surface is permanently shadowed, and it's here that water could remain frozen for millions of years.</p><p>Some of these permanently shadowed regions are huge, extending more than a kilometer wide. But others span just 1 cm. These smaller "micro cold traps" are much more abundant than previously thought, and they're spread out across more regions of the lunar surface, according to the new research.</p>
Credit: dottedyeti via AdobeStock<p>Still, the second study didn't confirm that ice is embedded in micro cold traps. But if there is, it would mean that water would be much more accessible to astronauts, considering they wouldn't have to travel into deep, shadowy craters to extract water.</p><p>Greater accessibility to water would not only make it easier for astronauts to get drinking water, but could also enable them to generate rocket fuel and power.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Water is a valuable resource, for both scientific purposes and for use by our explorers," said Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist in the advanced exploration systems division for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, in a statement. "If we can use the resources at the Moon, then we can carry less water and more equipment to help enable new scientific discoveries."</p>