Perceived academic stress and coping strategies among first year Psychology students at a tertiary institution.
Colborne, Jarryd Wesley.
MetadataShow full item record
Stress can be understood as a complex interplay between external forces of the environment (known as stressors) and the perceived ability of individuals to adapt to them. Unhealthy amounts of stress have a systemic effect in the sense that it can have multiple effects on an individual’s biological, psychological, and sociocultural functioning. Coping can be defined as a cognitive and behavioural response to alleviate the physical, emotional and psychological burden associated with various stress. This study aimed at exploring the variables of perceived academic stress and coping strategies amongst an undergraduate psychology student population, as well as the relationship between the variables. Findings illustrated a high level of perceived academic stress in the sample, with no specific gender and age differences. It was also found that the sample made use of adaptive coping techniques more often, with a higher level amongst male participants as compared to females. In terms of correlational analyses, a weak negative relationship was found between perceived academic stress and maladaptive coping. It is hoped that the present study will offer further insight into how the undergraduate population perceives academic stress and how they ultimately cope. The findings of this study may be of use to student counselling centres at higher education institutions and help guide future initiatives aimed at enhancing students’ wellbeing.