UBC Undergraduate Research

Students' ability to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy stress : final research project Seligman, Candice; To, Celine; Vu, Elizabeth Apr 28, 2015

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
18861-Seligman_C_et_al_SEEDS_2015.pdf [ 1.34MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 18861-1.0225820.json
JSON-LD: 18861-1.0225820-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 18861-1.0225820-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 18861-1.0225820-rdf.json
Turtle: 18861-1.0225820-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 18861-1.0225820-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 18861-1.0225820-source.json
Full Text
18861-1.0225820-fulltext.txt
Citation
18861-1.0225820.ris

Full Text

 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student ReportCandice Seligman, Celine To, Lizzie VuStudents’ Ability to Differentiate Between Healthy and Unhealthy Stress:PSYC321 Final Research ProjectPSYC 321April 28, 201512891860University of British Columbia Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS Program provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or a SEEDS team representative about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.RUNNING HEAD: Students Differentiating Stress 1         Students’ Ability to Differentiate Between Healthy and Unhealthy Stress: PSYC321 Final Research Project  Group Name: Trash Talkers Candice Seligman , Celine To , Elizabeth Vu  The University of British Columbia              Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 2  Abstract This study was conducted to explore the research question: Can students differentiate between healthy and unhealthy stress? How do coping mechanisms differ as number of different upcoming deadlines increase? It was predicted that students who are better able to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy stress will have healthier coping mechanisms, despite the number of upcoming deadlines that they have. Healthy coping mechanisms was defined as having a higher COPE inventory score on engagement compared to disengagement. Similarly, unhealthy coping was defined as a higher score for disengagement than engagement on the COPE inventory. Tobin (1985) defined engagement as the attempts by the individual to actively engage in efforts to manage their stressful situation. In contrast, disengagement was defined as strategies that likely result in the individual avoiding thoughts about the situation and refraining from behaviours that may change their stressful situation. One hundred students at The University of British Columbia were selected using a convenience-sampling method to take part in an online modified COPE inventory questionnaire. The results did not support our hypothesis.  It was found that 59.4% of participants correctly identified their method of coping with stress (healthy or unhealthy), but although students were able to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy stress, this did not appear to be correlated with having healthier coping mechanisms.           Keywords: students, healthy stress, unhealthy stress, coping mechanisms              Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 3   Students’ Ability to Differentiate Between Healthy and Unhealthy Stress  Method Participants  One hundred students from The University of British Columbia were selected using a convenience sampling method. The final participant population consisted of 31 males and 69 females. The participant population ranged from first year to PHD level. The mean year of study was third year.  Conditions  In this study, participants were asked to disclose the number of upcoming deadlines which were one of the following; mid term, paper, final, assignment, presentation and other. The number of upcoming deadlines was the independent variable. Furthermore, the dependent variable was the participant's individual COPE scores and the individual’s self-reported coping ability.  Measure  Materials used were The Coping Strategies Inventory-Short Form 32 (Figure 22) (Tobin, 1985) which was manually transferred onto www.SurveyPlanet.com (Survey Planet, 2015) to create an online survey. Further demographic questions were also added added.  Procedure  Participants were selected using a convenience sampling method at various times and dates throughout the month of March. The online survey was distributed electronically to participants using laptops. At the beginning of our survey there was a consent notice stating that by proceeding with the survey, the participant has agreed to consent to being a participant in the study. Participants were informed that they were allowed to discontinue participation at any point. The survey was distributed online via the online social networking website Facebook and distributed face-to-face in various locations at The University of British Columbia: Walter C. Koerner Library, The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, Irving K. Barber Library, Neville Scarfe Building, and The Student Union Building. Participants approached face-to-face were offered candy as compensation to participate in the study. Pamphlets from The UBC Wellness Centre (See Figure 13) regarding anxiety and stress were readily available to participants in the case that the survey triggered any negative emotions or if the participant wanted to seek further information regarding campus resources.   Results  Data analysis showed that as number of deadlines increased from 1-3, the amount of engagement decreased and the amount of disengagement increased (See Figure 25-26). However, as number of deadlines increased from 3-5, the amount of engagement increased and the amount of disengagement decreased (See Figure 25-26). Results also showed that 59.4% of participants correctly identified their method of coping with stress, with 40.6% of participants incorrectly identifying their coping style. Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 4     Discussion  The results of this experiment disconfirm the hypothesis of students who are better able to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy stress will have healthier coping mechanisms, despite the number of upcoming deadlines that they hold.          There are many limitations identified for this study. As for all self-report questionnaire studies, we can only infer correlation not causation. As well as having n=100 participant population, which represents ~.0025% of the total University Of British Columbia student population. This is a big limitation for our results as we cannot generalize or make definitive statements. Further, self-report bias is affected by participant’ motivation, honesty, memory, and ability to respond. This study also utilized a very specific population: the researchers’ social media networks including friends and family, and also participants convenience-selected at locations on campus. There was also the use of The Shortened COPE Inventory which might have affected the results of our study, possibly leaving out important data/trends that could have been captured using the full 72-item COPE inventory questionnaire (See figure 14). Lastly, this study did not use true random selection of participants, which may have affected our final results.  Strengths of the study include the use of the COPE inventory since it’s validity has been tested numerous times in various studies (Tobin, 2001). The factor structure supports the relationship between the scales the hierarchical relationship and the proposed subscales. The factor structured consisted of 3 subscales, where there was 8 primary factors investigated how participants perceived stress in terms of problem solving, social support, wishful thinking and so forth. There were 4 secondary factors that streamlined into 2 tertiary factors of engaged or disengaged.  The criterion validity was successful since the CSI (Tobin, 2001) was able to clinically differentiate a sample of depressed from non-depressed participants. Lastly, the construct validity, which studied the link between the CSI and other, constructs relating to stress and coping academic literature. Several studies have suggested that the CSI is able to correctly depressive amongst participants under high stress (Tobin et al, 1983).   Implications of our results are that the majority of students (from our study) can accurately appraise their coping style. We found that the students in our study use both engaging and disengaging coping styles simultaneously. We can suggest that when students are more disengaged in their coping strategies, students can experience an increased amount of negative outcomes due to stress, such as negative effects on physical, mental, and social well-being. We further suggest that when an individual's’ balance of styles is dominated by engagement, the individual may receive positive implications of their stressors such as motivation and feelings of competence.  We suggest a further study could look at a specific population of international students attending UBC. These students may face additional stressors compared to local students as many of them are further from home and also pay a much higher tuition. It could be interesting to look at whether or not these students have more varying healthy and unhealthy coping strategies because of these extra variables that could affect the amount of stress that one might have. For example, perhaps pressure of doing well in school is more prominent in international students because of the increased costs of failing a course compared to a student who pays local tuition.    Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 5   Recommendations for UBC          From our results, we have several recommendations for UBC where our results might be incorporated and utilized. On campus resources such as UBC Mental Health Awareness Club, UBC Wellness Centre, SpeakEasy, or UBC Counselling Services may incorporate this knowledge to initiate a conversation on stress management specifically tailored to UBC students. We believe it is important to have a future study that examines how mental health issues (such as stress) are currently being addressed on campus and evaluate whether or not students are receiving the resources they want or need. Currently, UBC addresses stress related issues through workshops, campaigns and campus wide programs (Health & Wellness at UBC) however there appears to be a discrepancy between the availability, knowledge, and use of these resources. For example, The UBC Live Well website provides an abundance of information on wellness topics including stress, however we believe this resource is underutilized. Focus could lie more on preventative approaches to stress issues.   We also recommend that UBC increase student awareness of support services through more innovative means. Some more specific suggestions we have to promote services including having student reps make quick announcements to classes about related events and resources during high periods of stress such as midterms. We believe that it is important that a peer makes these announcements as it encourages student engagement by increasing relatability. Having a peer deliver these types of messages breaks down social barriers that may exist on this topic. The Ubyssey could include a short survey like the COPE, which allows student access to complete in their own time. While also listing resources so individuals might become aware of their coping style and reach out if their score concerns them. It is also of importance to have RezLife hold more meetings or events for residents where they discuss stress coping or prevention strategies that might normalize the conversation on stress.                                 Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 6   References  Health & Wellness at UBC. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2015, from http://you.ubc.ca/ubc-life/support/health-wellness/  SurveyPlanet. (2015). Retrieved March 1, 2015, from http://www.surveyplanet.com    Tobin, D. (1985). Scoring Information For the CSI-S. Retrieved March 25, 2015, from http://www.ohioupsychology.com/files/images/holroyd_lab/CopingStrategiesInventory32item.pdf                       Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 7     Figure 1. Survey outlining the consent information of the survey (Pg. 1 of 12) Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 8  Figure 2.  Survey pg. 2 of 12 Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 9   Figure 3. Survey pg. 3 of 12  Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 10   Figure 4. Survey pg. 4 of 12 Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 11   Figure 5. Survey pg. 5 of 12         Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 12      Figure 6. Survey pg. 6 of 12 Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 13   Figure 7. Survey pg. 7 of 12 Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 14   Figure 8. Survey pg. 8 of 12 Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 15   Figure 9. Survey pg. 9 of 12 Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 16   Figure 10. Survey pg. 10 of 12  Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 17   Figure 11. Survey pg. 11 of 12 Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 18   Figure 12.  Pg. 12 of 12  Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 19    Figure 13. Pamphlets available to participants in the case anyone wanted to seek resources regarding stress/anxiety       Figure 14. COPE Inventory Manual (Pg. 1 of 8) Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 20   Figure 15. COPE Inventory Manual (Pg. 2 of 8)   Figure 16. COPE Inventory Manual (Pg. 3 of 8) Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 21   Figure 17. COPE Inventory Manual (Pg. 4 of 8)  Figure 18. COPE Inventory Manual (Pg. 5 of 8) Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 22   Figure 19. COPE Inventory Manual (Pg. 6 of 8)  Figure 20. COPE Inventory Manual (Pg. 7 of 8) Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 23   Figure 21. COPE Inventory Manual (Pg. 8 of 8)   Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 24    Figure 22. COPE Inventory Shortened Version (Pg. 1 of 3)   Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 25  Figure 23. COPE Inventory Shortened Version (Pg. 2 of 3) Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 26   Figure 24.  COPE Inventory Shortened Version (Pg. 3 of 3)    Students’ Ability to Differentiate Stress 27   Figure 25. COPE Score and number of deadlines   Figure 26. Trajectory of engagement vs. disengagement         

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.18861.1-0225820/manifest

Comment

Related Items