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Mental health disorders are highly prevalent among university students and appear to be increasing in severity (Prince, 2015; Thorley, 2017). Some students commence university with pre-existing psychological problems, but for others the stress of university life can trigger psychopathology. This may partly be related to the fact that many students commence university in late adolescence, an important developmental period in terms of their mental health and wellbeing (Kessler et al., 2007). Since psychological problems can have a very negative impact on academic achievement and attrition rates, social relationships and overall wellbeing (Mortier et al., 2015; Auerbach et al., 2016), it is very important to identify risk factors which may promote or exacerbate psychopathology in this vulnerable cohort.

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