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Go Back       Himalayan Journal of Nursing and Midwifery | Volume:1 Issue:1 | Feb. 18, 2022
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A Descriptive Study to Assess the Level of Stress and Coping Strategies Adopted among Students Appearing for Board Exams in Selected Schools of Shimla (H.P.)


Miss. Dixit Gautam*1 and Mrs. Shashi Sharma2

1M.Sc. Nursing, Mental Health (Psychiatric) Nursing, S.N.G.N.C. IGMC, Shimla,India

2Principal Nursing Officer, Mental Health (Psychiatric) Nursing, S.N.G.N.C. IGMC, Shimla, India

Article History

Received: 06.01.2022

Accepted: 15.02.2022

Published: 18.02.2022


Abstract: Background: All over the world, exam stress is the main source of stress faced by the students and its impact has become a serious issue among researchers and policymakers because of increasing incidence of suicides due to fear of failure. Hence it is important to know how far the students are able to cope up with the stress. Aim: The aim of present study was to assess the level of stress and coping strategies adopted among students appearing for board exams. Objectives: The objectives of the present study were to assess the level of stress among students, to assess the coping strategies adopted among students, to find out the correlation between level of stress and coping strategies adopted among students and to find out the association of level of stress and coping strategies adopted among students with selected demographic variables. Methodology: A quantitative descriptive research design was used to collect data from 100 students by using non-probability purposive sampling technique by means of self-structured likert scale. Result: The present study revealed that the most of the students were having moderate level of stress (83%) and (56%) of students had adopted average coping strategies to deal with the exam stress whereas significant negative correlation (r = - 0.406) was found between level of stress and coping strategies adopted among students. Conclusion: The present study concluded that there is a need for school institutions to pay their attention for minimizing the stress level of students by developing competencies among students and teaching adaptive coping strategies to deal with the stress so as a result the minimum stress can increase academic performance of the students in exams.


Keywords: Assess, level of stress, coping strategies adopted, students, board exams, schools.

Copyright @ 2022: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial use (Noncommercial, or CC-BY-NC) provided the original author and source are credited.

INTRODUCTION

Education is one of the most fundamental needs of mankind as it is responsible for the advancement of our civilization. It gives the individual experience and the confidence to tackle any life situation in future. A good education is basis to financial, professional and personal success and enables the students for learning how to function in society and be successful in life. Fireman (1992) defined academic stress that imposes an additional demand on a person’s ability to cope, often with something that's new and challenging in academic.


According to Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) Health Committee Council (2017) to get admission into preferred choice of college becomes too stressful and burdensome these days, about 86% of 12th class students are fighting off nervousness and mental disorder as compared to 10th class with lesser levels of hysteria of 62.5%. According to the survey, Science students have highest levels of depression, anxiety and stress followed by Commerce and Arts students as their routine is much more taxing with additional coaching classes. Stresses among 12th class students are significantly above 10th class students.


According to the National Crime Record Bureau (2013) sometimes stress among students can have extreme consequences such as tendency to attempt suicide. Unfortunately, India has one of the highest student’s suicide rates in the world and the number of students attempting suicide because of exam fear and pressure is increasing. Considering the seriousness of student stress in India it is imperative to systematically understand various demographic factors contributing to student stress and to learn the pattern of stress among students. Only then effective interventions and education reforms can be implemented to mentally prepare the students towards better academic performances.


Need of the Study

In today’s highly competitive world, students face various academic problems including exam stress so in order to excel within the competition and secure seats in the professional courses parents tend to pressurize children for attending additional coaching classes. A data accumulated by National Crime Record Bureau in 2020 revealed that India has one of the World’s highest suicide rates for students i.e. 39,775 students committed suicide due to failure in examination in the year 2019. Therefore there is a need to find out how far the students are able to cope up with the exam stress. So due to this the researcher felt the need to know how the students deal with stress by adopting various coping strategies who are appearing for board exams in selected schools of Shimla (H.P.)


OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

  • To assess the level of stress among students appearing for board exams in selected schools of Shimla (H.P.)

  • To assess the coping strategies adopted among students appearing for board exams in selected schools of Shimla (H.P.)

  • To find out the correlation between level of stress and coping strategies adopted among students appearing for board exams in selected schools of Shimla (H.P.)

  • To find out the association of levels of stress among students appearing for board exam with their selected demographic variables.

  • To find out the association of coping strategies adopted among students appearing for board exam with their selected demographic variables.


MATERIALS AND METHODS

Research Approach: Quantitative Research Approach

Research Design: Non-Experimental Descriptive research design.

Setting of the study: Selected schools of Shimla (H.P)

Study Population: Students appearing for board exams.

Sample Size: 100 students

Sampling Technique: Non-Probability, Purposive sampling technique


Informed Consent was taken from selected students and confidentiality of the students was also maintained.


Inclusive Criteria: Students available during the period of data collection in study setting and who were willing to participate in the study.


Exclusive Criteria: Students who were not willing to participate in the study and were not present during data collection.


Development of tools: Self Structured likert scale.


Description of Tools

Section I: Sociodemographic Profile

This part of the tool consists of the sociodemographic data related to the students which is developed by reviewing various studies. This tool provides personal information about the students such as age, gender, type of family, religion, area of residency, type of family, number of siblings, father’s educational status, mother’s educational status, father’s occupational status, mother’s occupational status, family monthly income, student’s subject of choice, student’s environment during study and social support. Totally it consists of 14 items.


Section II: The Stress Scale for Students Appearing for Board Exams

The perceived Stress scale consists of 26 items. It is measured with the help of self structured likert scale. Each item has 5 alternatives never, rarely, sometimes, often and always. It includes stresses like Physical, Emotional, Social, Cognitive and Spiritual stresses. The students were required to respond on a scale of five points as, ‘Always’(5), ‘Often’(4), ‘Sometimes’(3), ‘Rarely’ (2) and ‘Never’(1). Highest Score 5 is given to always and lowest score 1 is given to never.


Section III: The Coping Scale to Assess Coping Strategies Adopted among Students

Coping scale consists of 25 items. It is measured with the help of self structured likert scale. It includes domains like positive thinking, emotional support, social support, spiritual support and diversional activities. Responses are scored in such a way that the endorsement of positively worded statements and negatively worded statements assigned a higher score. Each item has 5 alternatives never, rarely, sometimes, often and always.


Validity of Tool: By the experts in this field.


Data Analysis and Interpretation

Section-I: Description of sociodemographic variables among students appearing for board exams


Table 1: Frequency and Percentage Distribution of Sociodemographic Variables (N=100)

Demographic variables

Frequency(f)

Percentage (%)

Age



16-17 years

48

48

18-19 years

52

52

Gender



Male

50

50

Female

50

50

Religion



Hindu

92

92

Christian

1

1

Muslim

2

2

Sikh

4

4

Others

1

1

Area of residency



Urban

72

72

Rural

24

24

Semi-urban

4

4

Type of Family



Nuclear family

53

53

Joint family

40

40

Extended family

2

2

Single parent family

5

5

Number of siblings



No siblings

17

17

One sibling

56

56

Two siblings

20

20

More than two siblings

7

7

Father’s educational status



No formal education

3

3

Primary education

1

1

Middle school education

8

8

Secondary education & higher secondary education

39

39

Graduate & above

49

49

Mother’s educational status



No formal education

4

4

Primary education

-

-

Middle school education

19

19

Secondary education & higher secondary education

36

36

Graduate & above

41

41

Father’s occupational status



Unemployed

2

2

Government employee

46

46

Private employee

26

26

Self employed

26

26

Mother’s occupational status



Housewife

76

76

Government employee

14

14

Private employee

6

6

Self employed

4

4

Family monthly income



< Rs.20,000

25

25

Rs.20,001-30,000

20

20

Rs.30,001-40,000

21

21

> Rs.40,000

34

34

Student’s subject of choice



Medical

28

28

Non-Medical

28

28

Commerce

20

20

Arts

24

24

Student’s environment during study



Quiet

71

71

Noisy

12

12

Distractible

17

17

Social support



Parents

63

63

Friends or peers

13

13

Siblings

12

12

Guardians

4

4

Teachers

8

8


Table 1: Shows that Majority of the students (52%) were in the age group of 18- 19 years and there were equal number of males (50%) and females (50%) students whereas majority of the students (92%) were Hindu and were residing in urban areas (72%). With regard to type of family most of the students belonged to nuclear family (53%) and similarly majority of the students had one sibling (56%) on the other hand majority of the student’s fathers were graduated and above (49%) and mother’s were graduate and above (41%). With respect to students father’s occupational status mostly were Government employees (46%) and mothers were Housewives (76%). With regard to family income majority of student’s fall within the range of > Rs. 40,000 (34%). Maximum student’s subjects of choice were medical and non-medical (28% each).With respect to student’s environment during study most of the students had quiet environment (71%) and majority of the student’s find their parents (63%) as their social support.


Section-II

Part-1: Findings Related To Assessment of Level of Stress among Students Appearing For Board Exams


Table 2: Frequency and percentage distribution of students according to the level of stress among students appearing for board exams (N=100)

Level of Scores

Range of scores

Frequency

Percentage (%)

Severe stress

101-130

1

1

Moderate stress

51-100

83

83

Mild stress

>50

16

16

Maximum Score =130 Minimum Score=26

Table 2: Shows that majority of the students (83%) had moderate stress, (16%) had mild stress and (1%) had severe stress.


Image is Available in PDF Format

Section-II

Part-2: Findings related to assessment of levels of coping strategies adopted among students appearing for board exams


Table 3: Frequency and Percentage Distribution of Level of Coping Strategies Adopted among Students Appearing for Board Exams

N=100

Level of Scores

Range of scores

Frequency (f)

Percentage (%)

High coping strategies adopted

101-125

1

1%

Average coping strategies adopted

76-100

56

56%

Low coping strategies adopted

51-75

43

43%

Very low coping strategies adopted

25-50

-

-

Maximum Score=125 Minimum Score=25


Table 3: Shows that majority of the students adopted (56%) average coping strategies, (43%) had low coping strategies and (1%) had high coping strategies whereas none of the students had very low coping strategies.


Image is Available in PDF Format


Section – III

Part-1: Findings related to correlation between stress and coping strategies adopted among students appearing for board exams


Table 4: Correlation between Stress and Coping Strategies Adopted among Students Appearing for Board Exams (N=100)

S.No.

Pearson's Correlation

Table value

P value

Result

-0.406*

0.197

0.05

Significant

* Significant Negative Correlation at the level of significance 0.05


Table 4: Shows that there was a significant negative correlation (r = - 0.406) at 0.05 level of significance between stress and coping strategies adopted among students appearing for board exams.


Image is Available in PDF Format

Section-III

Part-2: Findings related to association of level of stress with selected demographic variables among students appearing for board exams shows that association of level of stress with selected demographic variables among students appearing for board exams i.e. student’s subject of choice is significantly associated with student’s level of stress (2=15.430, df=6 and table value=12.5916) whereas no significant association was found between level of stress with other demographic variables.


Part-3: Findings related to association of coping strategies adopted with selected demographic variables among students appearing for board exams shows that association of coping strategies adopted with selected demographic variables among students appearing for board exams i.e. mother’s occupational status is significantly associated with student’s level of coping strategies adopted (2=19.954, df=6 and table value=12.5916) whereas no significant association was found between coping strategies adopted with other demographic variables.


CONCLUSION

The present study findings revealed that the most of the students were having moderate level of stress (83%) especially physical stress and (56%) of students had adopted average coping strategies especially diversional activities to deal with the exam stress. The present study findings also revealed that there was a significant negative correlation (r = - 0.406) at 0.05 level of significance between levels of stress and coping strategies adopted among students appearing for board exams whereas no significant association was found between stress and coping strategies adopted with selected demographic variables among students appearing for board exams in selected schools of Shimla (H.P). The present study concluded that there is a need for school institutions to pay their attention for minimizing the stress level of students by developing competencies among the students and teaching adaptive coping strategies to deal with the stress so as a result the minimum stress can increase academic performance of the students in exams.


Recommendations for the Future Studies

In the view of the findings reported in the present study, the following recommendations are made for further research.

  • A pre- experimental study to determine the effectiveness of counseling in reducing the level of stress and enhancing coping strategies among students appearing for board exams can be conducted.

  • A quasi-experimental study can be conducted to determine the effectiveness of relaxation therapy in reducing level of stress.

  • An experimental study to assess the effectiveness of stress management techniques among students appearing for board exams can be conducted.

  • A comparative study to assess the level of stress and coping strategies among students appearing for board exams of two different educational boards can be conducted.

  • A similar study can be conducted among the under Graduate and post Graduate nursing students.

  • Similar studies can also be conducted to assess the level of stress and coping strategies adopted among college and university going students.


REFRENCES

  1. Stress and Anxiety amongst Students | Free Essay Example [Internet]. StudyCorgi.com. 2021 [cited 28 March 2021]. Available from: https://studycorgi.com/stress-and-anxiety-amongst-students/

  2. Sagar, P., & Singh, M. (2017). A study of academic stress among higher secondary school students. International Journal of Creative Research Thoughts (IJCRT)5(4), 1864-1869.

  3. Assocham India [Internet]. Assocham.org. 2021 [cited 28 August 2021]. Available from: https://www.assocham.org/newsdetail.php?id=4981

  4. Ann Mary, R., Marslin, G., Franklin, G., & Sheeba, C. J. (2014). Test anxiety levels of board exam going students in Tamil Nadu, India. BioMed research international2014.

  5. Enabling children to beat exams stress [Internet]. Educationworld.in. 2019. Available from: https://www.educationworld.in/enabling-children-to-beat-exams-stress/viewed on 23 March 2021

  6. Deb, S., Strodl, E., & Sun, H. (2015). Academic stress, parental pressure, anxiety and mental health among Indian high school students. International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Science5(1), 26-34.



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