Perceived Sources of Academic Stress among Undergraduates in a Nigerian University
The present study investigated the perceived sources of stress among undergraduates in a Nigerian University. Three Faculties were purposefully selected from the fourteen Faculties in the University. 427 undergraduates were randomly selected to participate in the study. A descriptive research design was adopted for the study. Data on perceived sources of academic stress were collected using the Perceived Academic Stress Scale (PASS) which was adapted from Bedewy and Gabriel (2015). The instrument was validated. One research question was raised and three hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Data collected were analysed with descriptive and inferential statistics. The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The perceived sources of stress among the respondents were compared on the bases of course of study/Faculty, age and level of study. The results revealed that the major perceived source of stress among the undergraduates was workload and examinations. Undergraduates in Physical Sciences had significantly higher perception of workload and examinations and academic self-perception as sources of academic stress than undergraduates in Social Sciences. Undergraduates in Physical Sciences also had significantly higher perception of parental expectation as a source of stress than undergraduates in Faculties of Education and Social Sciences. There were no significant differences in the perception of sources of academic stress among the undergraduates based on age and level of study. It was recommended that the Students’ Guidance and Counselling centre should design intervention strategies that target at helping students learn to cope with academic stress. It was also recommended that good study habits and skills should be specifically taught to help students cope with work load and examination.
Keywords: Academic Stress, Sources, Faculties, Undergraduates, Level of Study, Age.