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Assessment of perceived sources, consequences and coping mechanisms of stress among wolkite university first year regular students: a descriptive survey study

Author: 
Debela Lemesa and Getachew Abeshu
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

A number of studies have been carried out on sources of stress focusing on general prevalence rather than specific dimensions of the various sources of stress and their consequences along with coping mechanisms. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess perceived sources, consequences and stress coping mechanisms among first year regular undergraduate students’ of Wolkite University. Three hundred and twenty nine (329) first year students were selected from all colleges using multi-stage stratified sampling techniques. A structured questionnaire consisting of items on various dimensions of sources of stress, consequences and coping mechanisms were administered. The finding explicate that freshmen students in Wolkite University had experienced all the major forms of sources of stress mainly intrapersonal sources than academic, interpersonal and environmental sources respectively. The independent t-test analyses in terms of gender indicated that female freshmen students are more prone to all forms of such sources of stress, chiefly of intrapersonal sources of stress with (M = 3.95, SD = .26), t (287) = -16.71, p < 0.05 as compared to their male counterparts. Psychological, academic, social, physical and health related negative consequences of stresses were some commonly revealed ones. Active problem coping followed by active emotional coping approach was the most applied one to handle stress and there was significant gender differences in utilizing coping strategies in which female students employed less active problem and active emotional focused coping strategies than male students (M=2.93, SD =.55), t (287) = 13.37, p < 0.05 and (M = 2.51, SD = .48), t (287) 16.89, p < 0.05 respectively. Moreover in this study, a significant negative correlations were found between all forms of perceived sources of stress (intrapersonal, academic, interpersonal and environmental), and active problem coping style and active emotional coping style while passive problem coping style and passive emotional coping style found to be positively correlated to sources of stress. Female students have experienced all major forms of perceived sources of stress with its damaging effects and used more passive problem and emotional coping mechanisms. Hence, university officials, student’s counselors and policy makers have to make conducive learning environment in the University to curb difficulties first year students face difficulties in their academic, social, health and psychological wellbeing.

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