Stress And Anxiety In Students

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Academic Stress and Anxiety in Students

Academic Stress and Anxiety in Students


Academic stress among college students has been a topic of interest for many years. College students experience high stress at predictable times each semester due to academic commitments, financial pressures, and lack of time management skills. When stress is perceived negatively or becomes excessive, it can affect both health and academic performance (Camp bell & Svenson, 1992). University students often attempt to control and reduce their stress through avoidance, religious and social support, or positive reappraisal (Mattlin, Wethington, & Kessler, 1990; Blake & Vandiver, 1988).

Leisure satisfaction and fitness activities act as stress buffers, providing a sense of purpose and competence for college students (Ragheb & McKinney, 1993). Student academic stress is also reduced and controlled through effective time management and study techniques (Brown, 1991). Macan (1990) found that students who perceived themselves in control of their time reported greater work and life satisfactions and fewer job-induced and somatic tensions. Research examining gender differences and comparison of student and faculty perceptions of students' academic stress, however, is limited.

A few studies have examined faculty perceptions of students' behaviours. Studies indicate that student behaviour is linked to the attitudes of faculty members (Williams & Winkworth, 1974). Faculty members from predominantly teaching- or research-oriented universities, however, differ in how they evaluate students' behaviour (Brozo & Schmelzer, 1985). Interaction with students significantly influences faculty behaviours (Pascarella, 1975).

Stress levels of faculty members vary due to personal and organisational behaviours (Pretorius, 1994) that may affect their interactions with students. Although stress-causing stimuli are often similar in the lives of professors and students (Brown, 1991; Pretorius, 1994), teachers also bring stress into the classroom in the form of inherent personality traits (Kagan, 1987). However, stressful personality of a teacher may be perceived as a positive rather than a negative attribute by students (Kagan, 1987). Faculty members' accurate perceptions of student academic stress are important for effective communication with them. For instance faculty may highly prioritize prompt attendance and good academic performance, while some students may not necessarily value such items (Parish & Necessary, 1995).

Literature Review

Adisturbing trend in college student health is the reported increase in student stress nationwide (Sax, 1997). Stressors affecting students can be categorized as academic, financial, time or health related, and self-imposed (Goodman, 1993; LeRoy, 1988). Academic stressors include the student's perception of the extensive knowledge base required and the perception of an inadequate time to develop it (Carveth, Gesse, & Moss, 1996). Students report experiencing academic stress at predictable times each semester with the greatest sources of academic stress resulting from taking and studying for exams, grade competition, and the large amount of content to master in a small amount of time (Abouserie, 1994; Archer & Lamnin, 1985; Britton & Tesser, 1991; Kohn & Frazer, 1986).

When stress is perceived negatively or becomes excessive, students experience physical and psychological impairment (Murphy & Archer, 1996). Methods to reduce stress by students often include effective time management, social support, positive reappraisal, ...
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