PREVALENCE, SOURCES AND PATTERNS OF STRESS AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS.
Stress may affect students’ health and academic outcomes. This may result in health-risk behaviours and social problems e.g. substance abuse, which in turn may lead to other health issues. Globally, environmental stress contributes significantly to overall stress loads of individuals. Poor environmental conditions may interfere with optimal human functioning and academic outcomes. The magnitude of this problem is worrisome. The paper, a cross-sectional total population study was aimed at assessing perceived stress; identifying the sources of stress; and assessing how stressful the university environment was for the students. All the 200 level students (382; 236 males and 146 females), both medical and medical sciences students of faculty of medicine Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, participated in the study. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect the data. Descriptive statistics was employed to analyze the data using SPSS software version 20. Results revealed that more than 12 different sources of stress (both academic and non- academic issues) were identified, piling pressures on the students. Students’ consensus existed across gender and course of study in rating the university environment as “very stressful”. Stress was found to be highly prevalent among students; most prevalent among Nursing students (72.5%), followed by Human Physiology students (68.9%), then Human Anatomy students (64%) and finally Medical students (62.4%), it was also more prevalent among female-(75.3%) than male-(61.4%) students. Results were discussed in the context of stress management interventions to improve quality of life of the students, promote health and improve academic outcomes.
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