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Assessment of academic stress and coping strategies among built environment undergraduate students in Nigerian higher education

Joshua Oluwasuji Dada (Department of Quantity Surveying, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria)
Solomon Olusola Babatunde (Department of Quantity Surveying, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria)
Racheal Oluwatoyin Adeleye (Department of Quantity Surveying, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 28 January 2019

Issue publication date: 18 June 2019

2498

Abstract

Purpose

Stress has become an important topic in the academic environment. However, studies on academic stress among built environment students have received little attention. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to assess the causes of academic stress, and its coping strategies among built environment undergraduate students in public higher education institution (HEI) in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive literature review was conducted to identify the causes of academic stress and its coping strategies among the students in HEIs, using quantity surveying students as a case. Primary data were elicited through questionnaire survey administered on 189 quantity surveying students in Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. A total of 169 copies of the questionnaire were returned and suitable for analysis. The data obtained were analyzed using the mean score and t-test.

Findings

The study identified 27 causes of students’ academic stress, and the analysis of the total ranking revealed that 8 out of 27 causes of academic stress were considered important. The results of t-test indicated that except for 5 out of 27 identified causes of student academic stress, there is no statistically significant difference in the perceptions of male and female students. The study further identified 30 coping strategies employed by students in dealing with academic stress, out of which six identified coping strategies were considered important. In addition, the results of t-test revealed that except for 11 out of 30 identified coping strategies, there is no statistically significant difference in the perceptions of male and female students surveyed.

Practical implications

The identification of the important causes of academic stress and its coping strategies among the students in the public higher education will be useful for the university management to formulate policies toward providing a well-balanced academic environment that is conducive to better learning. In addition, policy recommendations are proposed.

Originality/value

The findings will help the academic staff and university management to design and implement policies toward refining the teaching procedures in higher education. Also, this study would be of great value to academic staff and university administrators to develop a framework for incorporating stress coping strategies in the higher education curriculum. This study is important as not many empirical studies relating to academic stress and its coping strategies have been conducted in the built environment disciplines.

Keywords

Citation

Dada, J.O., Babatunde, S.O. and Adeleye, R.O. (2019), "Assessment of academic stress and coping strategies among built environment undergraduate students in Nigerian higher education", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 367-378. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-06-2018-0100

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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