The perceived psychological stressors and coping behaviours in university students, on a pre-registration programme
The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice
Article publication date: 16 July 2020
Issue publication date: 16 July 2020
The purpose of this paper is to investigate perceived stressors and coping behaviours in student nurses on a pre-registration programme of study. Stress in student nurses has been identified with decreased emotional well-being and poor academic achievement. The significance of stress and coping behaviours in students during training has implications for education and practice.
The present study recruited 87 pre-registration student nurses in a cross-sectional design. Bivariate and multivariate analyses assessed the differences in field and year of study and the students’ perceived stress and coping behaviours.
The findings showed that stress is a significant issue in nurse training. Fifty-three per cent of the participants had levels higher than the mean. Interestingly, the present study found that high-perceived stress was associated with avoidance behaviours. The most common type of perceived stress and ranked by highest factor were from written assignments and a lack of professional skills and knowledge. Their peer group and everyday life activities were shown as potential ways of coping with stressors. Thus, it seems reasonable to focus support on decreasing avoidant and enhancing stress-reducing behaviours.
Psychological stress and coping behaviours must be considered together, as perceived stress is bound by the ability to ameliorate stress by managing helpful and unhelpful behaviours.
The findings may suggest that a potential benefit could come from the provision of helpful strategies such as peer group support and reduction of avoidant behaviours. Also, there seems to be a need for greater mental health literacy in dealing with stress during training.
This research received support from the author’s institution’s internal quality research (QR) fund ID number: 257.
Mitchell, A.E.P. (2020), "The perceived psychological stressors and coping behaviours in university students, on a pre-registration programme", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 249-259. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-09-2019-0048
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