Invisible chronic illness in female college students



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The purpose of this thesis was to examine how female students negotiate the experience of college while living with an invisible chronic illness. Quantitative data, through the use of online surveys, were collected from 105 female students living with a chronic illness enrolled at Texas Woman’s University. Results revealed that the majority of participants feel that their illness is a serious condition that has impacted their life. The majority of respondents reported that they feel capable of completing college, obtaining a job, and view themselves as a person of worth; however, nearly all respondents reported they have avoided social situations in college because of their illness. The majority of participants indicated they accept their diagnosis and about half of participants reported that they engage in healthy coping behaviors. In the course of this research, it became clear that university policies need revision in terms of absence accommodations and disclosure.



Chronic illness