Stress and the Contemporary Student



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