An Online Investigation of Diverse College Students' Experiences of Stress: Predictors of High Levels of Past Month Perceived Stress
By: Julio Diomar Rodriguez
Published: 5/18/2016
Uploaded: 06/06/2018
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2016 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: college students, coping, Perceived Stress, stress, Stress management, Stressors

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Description/Abstract: This online study determined significant predictors of scores on the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) using a convenience sample of college students (N=403) with a mean age of 21.84 years (min 18, max 57, SD = 4.81), including 77.2% (n = 311) female (58.8% (n = 237) White, 22.1% (n = 89) Latino, and 14.4% (n = 58) African American. Study scales exhibited good to excellent internal consistency (Cronbachs Alpha of .794 to .932) including the new tool created for this study the College Stress Survey Assessment of Stage of Change and Self-Efficacy (CSS-A-SOC-SE-12). Using backward stepwise regression, higher perception of stress in the last month (PSS-10) was significantly predicted by: being heterosexual (B = 2.399, p = .006), having darker skin color (B= -.444, p = .015), higher percentage of time using alcohol/drugs to cope with stress (B=.044, p = .003), higher degree of recent depression (B = 1.591, p =.000) higher degree of recent anxiety (B= 1.176, p = .000), lower stage of change (i.e. precontemplation, contemplation stages) for coping and responding to racism/oppression (B=, -.508, p = .023), higher degree of stability in coping ability with racism/oppression (B=.764, p = .011), higher global stage of change (i.e. action, maintenance stages) for coping with college stress (B = .974, p = .004), lower global self-efficacy for coping with college stress (B = -1.914, p = .000), lower problem-solving coping self-efficacy (CSE-1) (B = -.140, p .000), lower stopping unpleasant thoughts coping self-efficacy (CSE-2) (B = -.155, p = .000) in a model accounting for 57.8% of the variance (R2=.592, AdjR2=.578). Qualitative data produced themes, as follows: Category I Most Stressful Parts of College Experience included 1-Workload, 2-Financial Stress, and 3-Balancing; Category II How Students Cope with Stressors included 1-Exercise, 2-Social Support, 3-Doing School Work/Studying, 4-Time Management/Check-Lists, 5-Stress Management Techniques/ Relaxation/ Prayer, 6-Distraction, 7-Writing, and 8-Self-Talk; and, Category III Thoughts/Feelings About Overall Stress in Life included 1-Depression/Anxiety, 2-Reflections on Negative Experiences, 3-New Realizations About Stress and Coping, 4-Positive Reflections on Personal Growth, and 5-Reflections on Race. Implications address college-based interventions for stress. Recommendations for future research are also presented.