Coping strategies employed by university students in handling their occupational role stress
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Research has reported that high levels of stress exist among university students and that the common coping strategies used by the students add to their stress. Stress associated with student role requirements appears not unlike stress experienced in occupational roles in the workplace. However, no previous research in Australia has investigated the relationships among combined facets of the work environment (roles and related stresses) of university students, the types of coping strategies used and the relationship to stress and to depression. This study addressed this gap by using a workplace stress inventory, the Occupational Stress Inventory - Revised, the Ways of Coping Questionnaire Revised and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales. The results showed that the more highly stressed university students in the sample used ineffective coping strategies (emotion focused, especially avoidant) and lacked social support. No gender differences in the handling of stress were noted, but females scored higher than males on emotion-focused and specifically avoidant coping and on levels of depression. Implications are drawn for practice.
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