Stressors of graduate psychology training remain relatively unexplored. The Psychology Student Stress Questionnaire (PSSQ) was developed to assess the impact of emotional, financial, and academic stressors of graduate psychology training on students. The PSSQ was administered, along with the Symptom Check List-90-R and the Health and Daily Living Form, to 133 graduate psychology students. Significant though limited correlations were obtained between the PSSQ and the two stress measures. Factor analysis of the PSSQ yielded seven underlying factors; time constraints accounted for the greatest variance in stress ratings. Female students had higher stress scores than males. These results suggest that the PSSQ could be useful in exploring student stress in graduate psychology training.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The article reports results from the validation of the " Undergraduates Stressors Questionnaire " and the relationship between academic stressors and academic hardiness in university undergraduates. In the first study (study 1), 845 undergraduates completed the " Undergraduates Stressor Questionnaire ". Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis results provided support for the 7-factor solution, which explained 61.6% of the total variance. Scale scores showed adequate internal consistency. The results of study 1 indicated that undergraduates are subject to numerous academic stressors such as lack of leisure time, academic performance, fear of failure, academic overload, finance, competition between students, and relationships with university faculty. In study 2, 478 undergraduates completed the " Undergraduates Stressor Questionnaire " and the " Revised Academic Hardiness Scale ". The study indicates that students are less hardy in terms of commitment and challenge across the years of study and provides evidence for the moderating role of academic hardiness on students' daily university stressors. The study also revealed that " low academic hardiness " students reported higher stress. The findings are discussed in the context of the recent literature. Academic stress among higher education students has been a topic of interest for many years and has recently been attracted the interest of a range of studies focusing on the links between stress and students' performance (Heikkila, Lanka, Niemine, & Niemivitra, 2012). Interest in stress among college students is related to the recognition that excessive stress is harmful to academic performance and may lead to dropping out. Strenuous academic pressure and limited social and personal time can add to the normal stress of life and begin to have a negative effect on a person. Earlier studies amongst higher education students have focused on subject areas with a strong vocational element such as nursing students, social work students and psychology students (Robotham, 2008). These studies demonstrate that college students experience high stress at predictable times each semester and have classified stressors into three main categories: academic pressures, social issues and financial problems. Some other studies mentioned sources of stress among undergraduates such as inter personal relationships related stressors, work-family conflicts related stressors, organizational working environment related stressors, profession prospects related stressors and academic training stressors (Chan, Lai, Ko, & Boet, 2000). Other studies demonstrate that the most common stressors for undergraduates were fear of failure (Schafer, 1996; Tyrrel, 1992), striving to meet assessment deadlines (Misra et al., 2000), feel overwhelmed by their workload (Reisberg, 2000), finding the motivation to study (Tyrrel, 1992), concerns about academic
"D'un point de vu global, on peut déduire de nos résultats qu'en accord avec plusieurs recherches antérieures stipulant que les femmes sont plus enclines à éprouver des troubles internalisés  , les femmes dans la présente étude démontrant des scores de stress plus élevés pour les dimensions dispositionnelles et situationnelles, mais pas cognitives. Il est possible que cette absence de différence concernant le stress cognitif indique que les fonctions mnésiques ne sont que peu influencées par les effets de genre. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Irrational beliefs can be defined as dysfunctional thoughts having been unintentionally introduced in our belief system during our childhood across through life experiences. As shown in previous studies, these beliefs can eventually cause affective disorders. Markus & Merkey  demonstrated the existence of a link between irrational beliefs and health concerns in a psychology student sample of 493. Szasz  explored irrational beliefs and depressogenic rumination as a factor for stress vulnerability. Previous research has also shown that stress plays an important role in student life (Anders and El-Ghorung 0055 and 0060); a main concern for students being exam performance . The objective of this study is to explore the impact of rational and irrational beliefs regarding exam failure on the dispositional and situational stress.
Three hundred undergraduate students in social sciences participated in this study. The sample consisted of 91 men and 209 women; mean age was 22 years (SD = 4.87). One hundred students from each of first, second and third years participated in the study. Data were collected using a scale of rational and irrational beliefs (Montgomery ) and a stress scale (Boucher ). An exploratory factor analysis with principal components using varimax rotation was conducted with the stress scale identifying a three-factor solution explaining 54% of the variance: dispositional, situational, and cognitive stress. Dispositional stress covered internal and personal aspects of stress like physical manifestations such as trembling, nervousness, and panicked feelings. Situational stress was related to environmental and interpersonal aspects, like family and peers. Cognitive stress was represented by concentration skills or distractibility. Data were analyzed using Statistica software version 7.0.
Bravais Pearson correlations and mean comparisons with Student t and as well as hierarchical stepwise regressions were performed. Rational beliefs were negatively correlated with dispositional (r = –0.15, P = 0.008) and situational stress (r = –0.25, P < 0.001) while irrational beliefs correlate positively with the dispositional (r = 0.32, P < 0.001) and situational stress (r = 0.38, P < 0.01). Women had average scores of dispositional (t (298) = 4.42, P < 0.001) and situational stress (t (298) = 4.19, P < 0.001) higher than men. Students resuming their studies after a break were less exposed to situational stress than students without interruptions (t (298) = 1.97, P = 0.04). The stepwise hierarchical regression analysis showed that mostly gender and irrational beliefs predicted dispositional and situational stress.
The results show that the presence of irrational beliefs related to the idea of failing an exam increases the risk of dispositional stress; i.e., internal aspects such as physical manifestations of stress, nervousness and feelings of panic. These beliefs also increase the risk of situational stress such as that related to external events and relationships with relatives. Girls are more at risk for both aspects of stress. Cognitive stress in this study was not related to any rational or irrational beliefs variables. Of particular interest are the stronger relationships between irrational beliefs and stress; rational beliefs were correlated inversely to stress but with a weaker relationship. This suggests that irrational beliefs are more predisposing to experiencing stress than rational beliefs might be a protective factor against stress. This last interpretation merits additional study as the relationship between experienced/perceived stress and rational/irrational beliefs has not been widely studies. Based on the four pillars of the Ellis theory these results can provide a basis for prevention and treatment for students facing difficulties with their exams.
Journal de Thérapie Comportementale et Cognitive 03/2014; 24(1):14 - 23. DOI:10.1016/j.jtcc.2013.09.004
"It is known that the most stressing moments of academic life are the entry to the first course and the time immediately prior to the exams (Rosenthal, Edwards, & Ackerman, 1987). Some of its consequences include a reduction in academic achievement (Lam & Hong, 1992; Mueller, 1992) decreased immune function (Glaser, Lafuse, Bonneu, & Atkinson, 1993), and multiple somatic disorders (Cahir & Morris, 1991; Jemmott & Magloire, 1988). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alexithymia refers to a specific disturbance in emotional processing that is manifested through difficulties in identifying and verbalizing feelings, and a tendency to focus and amplify the somatic sensations accompanying emotional arousal. The main purpose of the present study was to investigate the stability levels of alexithymia related to changes in emotional distress levels caused by university exams at two different times: after and during the exams. We carried out a 17-week follow-up on 36 university students, alexithymic features and self-reported emotional distress (anxiety, depression and somatic illness) were measured. Whereas emotional distress measures changed significantly during the follow-up period, the degree of alexithymia remained unchanged. We conclude therefore that alexithymia presents a constant trait in non-clinical samples, in contrast to anxiety and depression, which are state phenomena, influenced by stress levels.
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