College adjustment in University of Michigan students with Crohn's and colitis

Jeremy Adler, Sheela Raju, Allison S. Beveridge, Sijian Wang, Ji Zhu, Ellen M. Zimmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Adjustment to college is critical for academic success. Poor college adjustment correlates with poor academic performance, low graduation rates, and poor success later in life. Limited data are available on the effects of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on college adjustment. We hypothesize that disease activity negatively impacts on QOL, and adversely affects college adjustment. Methods: Undergraduate students (6 Crohn's disease [CD], 12 ulcerative colitis [UC], 19 healthy controls) completed a standardized college adjustment survey (SACQ) and QOL instrument (SF-12). Where appropriate, disease specific activity and QOL indices were obtained (HBI, SCCAI, SIBDQ). Results: There was an inverse correlation between disease activity and college adjustment in CD and UC (R = -0.6554, p 0.0032). IBD students had lower physical QOL (SF-12) than controls (p = 0.0009). Emotional domain of college adjustment correlated best with SIBDQ (R = 0.8228, p < 0.0001), and correlated better in CD (R = 0.8619) than UC (R = 0.7946). Mental QOL (SF-12) was worse in CD than UC (p = 0.0211), but neither differed from controls (p = 0.4, p = 0.6). Conclusions: Students with active Crohn's and colitis adjust less well to college life. Physical and emotional factors likely contribute. More aggressive medical therapy and better emotional support before and during college may result in happier and healthier college students, leading to higher graduation rates and future success. Interventions resulting in better disease control and support systems may improve college performance and provide long-term benefits to young adults with IBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1281-1286
Number of pages6
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology


  • Adolescent medicine
  • Clinical areas
  • College adjustment
  • Crohn's disease
  • Disease activity
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychosocial aspects of IBD
  • Quality of life


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