Academic stress and selected associated factors among Obafemi Awolowo University undergraduate students
This study determined the level of academic stress among the undergraduate students of Obafemi Awolowo University. It also ascertained the relationship between religiosity, mental factors (anxiety and depression), coping styles (active coping and passive coping), locus of control and academic stress among Obafemi Awolowo University undergraduate students. These were with the view to providing information on factors that account for failure in undergraduate education. The study was a descriptive survey study carried out in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. Three hundred and thirty three students were selected for the study using a multistage sampling technique. Students level of academic stress was measured using Higher Education Stress Inventory (HESI), level of religiosity was assessed using Religiosity Orientation Test (ROT) and the Locus of Control scale (LOC) was used to assess the generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement among the students. The Simplified Coping Style Questionnaire (SCSQ) was used to assess the coping style and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to evaluate the level of depression and anxiety symptoms. Data collected were analyzed using proportions, frequency counts, one way ANOVA, independent t-test, chi-square and Pearson Product Moment Correlation (r) statistics. The level of statistical significance was determined at p< 0.05. The results showed that the prevalence rate of academic stress was 13.9%. The result of the Pearson Product Moment Correlation analysis between academic stress and religiosity revealed a non-statistically significant relationship (r = -0.077, p >0.05). In addition, the results of the Pearson Product Moment Correlation analysis also revealed a non-statistically significant relationship between stress and locus of control(r = 0.025, p >0.05). The result of the Pearson Product Moment Correlation analysis showed no statistically significant relationship between academic stress and mental factors (anxiety r = -0.025, p >0.05 and depression r = -0.067, p >0.05). There was a significant relationship between stress and coping styles (active coping: r = 0.366, p < 0.01 and passive coping: r = 0.416, p < 0.001). The study showed that as academic stress is increasing, active and passive coping styles adopted were also increasing among Obafemi Awolowo University undergraduate students. The male undergraduate students had a significant higher mean stress score (84.17) when compared with the female mean stress score (78.59); [t=-4.038 p <0.01]. The study concluded that student's coping style was the only factor that was significantly associated with academic stress among the undergraduate students.