Prevalence and Correlates of Psychological Stress Among First-Year Undergraduate Students in South of Jordan

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Ahmad Al Rawashdeh, Rafi Alnjadat, Rasha S. Dabbour, Mohammad Bani Younis


Background: There has been a growing interest regarding stressors that face undergraduate students as this may affect their cognitive functioning and learning abilities which, therefore, is going to affect their academic achievement.
Purpose: To explore the prevalence of psychological stress and demographic factors contributing to stress among first-year undergraduate students in the southern part of Jordan.
Method: A cross-sectional, exploratory design was conducted among 231 first-year undergraduate students from different faculties during the period of September 2018 to January 2019. Data were collected using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire and a self- reported stress score (The Perceived Stress Scale). For the analysis of demographic data, frequency, percentage, mean, and standard deviation were done through SPSS version 21. Spearman correlation was done for skewed
age. Independent samples t-test was done to test the mean differences of stress and gender; ANOVA was performed to test the mean differences of stress and academic area; high school grade point average (GPA), students residence and marital status.
Results: Two hundred and thirty-one students completed a self-reported questionnaire. The overall perceived psychological stress level among the participants was moderate (2.10). The results indicated significant differences in the mean stress level for age (p=0.023) and academic area (p=0.045). Students from the college of law reported the highest level of stress.
Conclusions: This study suggest that academic stakeholders at universities should pay attention to the students psychological status. To avoid potential future stressrelated academic and health problems, effective stress reduction strategies should be implemented by universities in Jordan.

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