Stress and the Contemporary Student

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Abstract

Is contemporary student life stressful? And if so, what factors are associated with stress among students? This paper attempts to provide answers to these questions in reporting a research project that explored physical and mental health among students studying at Newcastle University in 1995. Forty-nine per cent of a stratified random sample of students (956 students) completed a postal questionnaire which, as well as addressing questions of health, covered numerous aspects of student living conditions and lifestyle. Stress was measured by the 12-item General Health Questionnaire, which was converted into a 36-point scale. The analysis identifies various factors that were associated with stress, and culminates in the construction of a multi-variate model that explains 25 per cent of the variance in student stress. The findings are discussed within the context of the changing nature of higher education in Britain

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