CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF STUDENTS’ STRESS
IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES
It is a common knowledge that students in Nigerian universities experience a lot of stress. These stress factors influence the students’ academic performance. This research work seeks to analyze the causes and consequences of student’s stress in Nigeria universities.
The instrument titled “Causes and Consequences of Students’ stress developed by the researcher and validated by the supervisor was used to elicit information from the respondents. The study was focused on Faculty of Education which was hundred (100) students in all. In which fifty (50) were males and fifty (50) were females. Some research questions were raised and linked to the causes and consequences of stress found in Nigerian universities. The study revealed a very high level of perceived stress among students in Nigerian universities. Some of the causes include lack of money, condition of hostel accommodation, lack of teaching materials, attitude of some lecturers and poor school environment, etc.
A number of recommendations were made to help solve the problems identified. They include: provision of large lecture rooms, provision of adequate educational facilities and provision of hostel accommodation to students and money should be made available and lastly lecturers should be friendly with students.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of Contents ix
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study 1
Statement of the Problem 6
Purpose of Study 8
Significance of the Study 9
Limitations of Study 9
Scope of Study 9
Definition of Terms 10
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Concept of Stress 12
Symptoms of Stress 13
Causes of Stress in Students 14
Consequences of Stress 28
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
Research Design 35
Population of Study 36
Sample and Sampling Technique 36
Research Instrument 36
Validity of Instrument 37
Reliability of Instrument 38
Administration of the Instrument 38
Method of Data Collection 38
CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND
DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
Discussion of Results 46
CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Suggestion for Further Studies 53
Appendix (Questionnaire) 56
Background to the Study
We always hear the term “stress” been used around the world, but especially used by students. Some may not understand the reason why people use it. But in the cause of our discussion we shall know this.
Stress is a psychological problem with adverse effects on human performance and a threat to survival. Stress affects both the social and spiritual aspects of the individual. Stress comes in all forms and affects people of all ages. Stress is a common thing experienced by both students and teachers. Stress may be considered as any physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes mental unrest and that may be a factor in disease causation.
Stress is simply a fact of nature – forces from the outside world affecting the individual. Literature on stress agrees that there are different levels of stress and that stress affects adolescents and adults especially (Iyamabo, Mohammed and Ike, 2001). Fear, anxiety and anger are common stressors that have their clinical basis on stress.
Stress comes in different forms. It could be mental, physical, social or religious and could be observed or watched closely through the following symptoms; insomnia (inability to sleep), boredom and cohesion. Academic/student stress among students have long been researched on and researchers have identified stressors as too many assignments, competition with other students, failures, project or field work stress, lack of pocket money, poor relationships with other students or lecturers, family or problems of home, over-crowded lecture halls, semester system and inadequate resources to perform academic work (Ongori, Awino and Angolla, 2007/2008). Stress occurs when a student is confronted by a situation that they perceive as over-whelming and cannot cope up with. Stress is a necessary thing in human beings lives because stress adds flavor, challenge and opportunity to our world. Stress is a part of every student’s daily life. Stress has become part of us and as something every student goes through or must go through. In the right dose, it can be healthy or even enjoyable. However, it provides many benefits, it can be damaging for students’ health, happiness, work performance, relationships and personal developments.
The five main causes of stress are; the new university environment, the new relationships, the competitive circumstances and exams, a lack of proper time-management techniques and parental pressure. All these causes have adverse effects or consequences. The causes could affect or delimit the students’ performance or eagerness to learn.
The student might not have the drive i.e. there might be no motivation to keep him/her going and this could lead to dropping out of school.
The term “stress” was first employed in a biological context by the endocrinologist, Hans Selye in 1930. The later broadened and popularized the concept to include inappropriate physiological response to any demand. In his usage, stress refers to a condition and stressor to the stimulus causing it. It covers a wide range of phenomenon, from mild imitation to drastic dysfunction that may cause severe health beat down. The stress the students go through could have effect on their academic performance.
Emotional causes of stress and tension are numerous and varied. What many people associate the term “stress” with psychological stress, scientists and physicians use this term to denote any force that impairs the stability and balance of bodily functions. A mild degree of stress and tension can sometimes be beneficial. For example, feeling mildly stressed when carrying out a project or assignment often compels one to do a good job, focus better and work energetically. It is only when stress is overwhelming or poorly managed that its negative effects appear. No matter how students fight or tend to fight against stress, it cannot be totally eliminated but instead we can learn to manage stress so that we have control over our stress and its effects on our physical and mental health. The internal and external stressors are the two categories of stress. The internal cause of stress may arise from fear, low esteem or lack of confidence in oneself, over ambitiousness while the external causes of stress may arise from school, family, government and even friends.
The causes of stress can be traced to the students’ environment as seen by the psychologists and an individual’s environment is made up of the physical, social, biological and spiritual hence the concept of nature in human growth and development.
Our aim here, is to find out the causes and consequences of stress, how it affects their performance and how thee students strive to cope with the stress.
Statement of the Problem
It has been observed that students go through a lot of stress (especially the university students). The question then is, how do we find out the causes, effect, consequences of stress and how it affects the academic performance. Students write exams and are still expected to perform well not minding the stress they go through.
Class tests and examinations have been conducted to measure and evaluate the individual student’s knowledge. However, it has been noticed that students perform differently in such tests and examinations even when thought by the same lecturers, and even the lectures were all attended.
In an attempt to find out factors responsible for the causes of stress, the following questions where asked:
What are the factors that cause stress among students in Nigerian universities?
What are the consequences of stress among students in Nigeria universities?
Do the factors of stress have any influence on the male and female students in Nigerian universities?
– The extent to which the stress factors will affect students’ academic performance will not be significant.
– The extent to which stress will affect the academic performance of male and female students in different universities.
– The extent to which emotional disturbance will affect the students’ academic performance will not be different.
Purpose of Study
The purpose of the study is to find out the factors that cause students’ stress and the consequences the stress has on students in Nigerian universities.
Significance of the Study
The study is being carried out not only to identify the causes and consequences of stress in students, but also to know if these stress vary in different universities.
This study would also help students identify the factors that cause stress and how to manage the stress.
Limitations of Study
The study would cover two faculties in the University of Benin; the Faculty of Education and Faculty of Social Science.
Scope of Study
The study is aimed at the causes and consequences of students stress in Nigeria universities. It is restricted to two faculties in the University of Benin.
Definition of Terms
Stress: Stress is a response to situations that involve demands, constraints or even opportunities.
Students: This refers to the students’ found in the university.
Consequence: The result of the stress.
Stressor: Is anything or situation that causes stress.