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Influence of stress and coping strategies on undergraduate students' performance

Luqman Oyekunle Oyewobi (Quantity Surveying, Federal University of Technology Minna, Minna, Nigeria)
Gbolahan Bolarin (Mathematics, Federal University of Technology Minna, Minna, Nigeria)
Naomi Temitope Oladosu (Quantity Surveying, Federal University of Technology Minna, Minna, Nigeria)
Richard Ajayi Jimoh (Building, Federal University of Technology Minna, Minna, Nigeria)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 24 September 2020

Issue publication date: 12 October 2021

591

Abstract

Purpose

This study examined the causes of academic stress amongst undergraduate students in the Department of Quantity Surveying to ascertain whether stress has an influence on their academic performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This research explores the relationships between these constructs: academic stress, non-academic stress, coping strategies and academic performance, using a survey questionnaire to collect data from 190 undergraduate students in the Quantity Survey department. Descriptive statistics have been used to analyse the data and a path analytical approach has been adopted to evaluate the relationship between the constructs discussed in the paper.

Findings

Significant linear associations have been established between all the proposed paths and the outcome factor (p < 0.00). Coping strategies were an important mediator (p = 0.000), as they explained 32.9% of the association between academic stress and non-academic stress. However, the findings have shown that the stress faced by students is an optimal degree of stress that improves learning capabilities.

Practical implications

Explanation and clarification of the effects of academic and non-academic stress and coping mechanisms on the academic performance of university undergraduate students could help to reduce the risk of suicide amongst the teeming youths. It will also afford the university administration the opportunity to engender stress-free environment that is conducive for learning through the formulation of appropriate policies that promote “balanced learning” for the students. The outcome of this study may provide a launch pad for researchers who are interested in knowing how the possible causes of stress may impact on the health of university students.

Originality/value

The findings will be of great importance to the academic advisers and university administration in developing a flexible academic calendar and adopt policies that will eliminate academic stress and promote strategies to cope with non-academic stress. The study is the first attempt to examine academic stress, non-academic stress, coping strategies and academic performance in a single research in the Nigerian context due to limited literature found. This study has pedagogical implications to education practice by offering tertiary institutions the opportunity to appraise and device a means of managing students' stress by identifying their needs and increase students' coping skills based on prevailing modalities that give students' opportunities to strengthen the strategies of coping.

Keywords

Citation

Oyewobi, L.O., Bolarin, G., Oladosu, N.T. and Jimoh, R.A. (2021), "Influence of stress and coping strategies on undergraduate students' performance", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 1043-1061. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-03-2020-0066

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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