Adults with lower than a high school education are more than twice as likely to have experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year than those with higher levels of education, according to a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health’s 2008 to 2012 Mental Health Surveillance Study (MHSS) found an estimated 12.9 million adults aged ≥ 18 years had 1 or more anxiety disorders in the past year. That included 3.9 million with lower than a high school education, 3.3 million high school graduates, 2.8 million with some college, and 3 million with college education or higher.
In the past year, 12.9% of adults with lower than a high school education had anxiety disorders compared with 5% of high school graduates and 4.3% of adults with college degrees or higher levels of education.
Although the MHSS results cannot be used to determine whether anxiety stopped people from finishing high school, the research showed that having an anxiety disorder can lower the odds of finishing high school and attending college and reach past the school years into the health and well-being of later adulthood.