Perceived stress, perceived social support and general well-being among University of KwaZulu-Natal first-year students.
Pilane, Malebogo Vernice.
MetadataShow full item record
The objective of this study is to examine whether the effects of stress on University of KwaZulu Natal first year students’ well being depend on the level of perceived social support. First year students are faced with the challenges of leaving the comfort of their homes in search for education and experience that enhance their growth. This life transition can be a stressful experience that requires social support from other people in order for the student to enjoy a healthy wellbeing. Methods; One hundred and fifty survey packages, which comprised of four measures: The Demographic Survey, The Multidimensional Scale of Perceives Social Support, The Perceived Stress Scale and The WHO (five) Wellbeing Index were distributed. Ninety three (62%) survey packages were anonymously completed and returned by the participants. Hypotheses; Four hypotheses were tested in this study: Whether the level of perceived social support will moderate the effects of stress on wellbeing of university students; whether females will perceive themselves to have more social support as compared with male students; whether younger students will perceive themselves to have more social support than their older counterparts. And lastly to find out whether students who live at home with their family perceive themselves to have more social support as compared to those that live away from their families, either in on-campus accommodation or renting accommodation alone or with other students. Results; The results obtained indicate that the level of perceived social support moderates the effect of stress on students’ wellbeing. The second hypothesis was also supported on the basis that females perceived themselves to have more social support than their male counterparts. The third hypothesis which sought to find out whether students who live at home with their family perceived themselves to have more social support as compared to those that live away from their families, either on on-campus accommodation or renting out a flat alone or with other students has not been clearly confirmed, therefore is an implication for further research. Lastly, the results do not indicate that younger students perceive themselves to have more social support than their older counterparts. Conclusions; It is evident that social support plays a very important role in the life of a first year student, as it assists them in moderating the effects of stress on their wellbeing. The availability and the way that individual perceive social support depends on the gender of an individual. Key words: Perceived Stress; Perceived Social Support; General Wellbeing; Moderating effect; First Year University Students.