Assessment of academic stress and its coping mechanisms among medical undergraduate students in a large Midwestern university

Nitin Joseph, Aneesha Nallapati, Mitchelle Xavier Machado, Varsha Nair, Shreya Matele, Navya Muthusamy, Aditi Sinha

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Academic stress is the most common mental state that medical students experience during their training period. To assess academic stress, to find out its determinants, to assess other sources of stress and to explore the various coping styles against academic stress adopted by students. Methods: It was a cross sectional study done among medical students from first to fourth year. Standard self-administered questionnaires were used to assess academic stress and coping behaviour. Mean age of the 400 participants was 20.3 ± 1.5 years. 166(41.5%) of them were males. The academic stress was found to be of mild, moderate and severe level among 68(17%), 309(77.3%) and 23(5.7%) participants respectively. Overall coping with stress was found to be poor, average and good among 15(3.8%), 380(95%) and 5(1.2%) participants respectively. Passive emotional (p = 0.054) and passive problem (p = 0.001) coping behaviours were significantly better among males. Active problem coping behaviour (p = 0.007) was significantly better among females. Active emotional coping behaviour did not vary significantly between genders (p = 0.54). Majority of the students preferred sharing their personal problems with parents 211(52.7%) followed by friends 202(50.5%). Binary logistic regression analysis found worrying about future (p = 0.023) and poor self-esteem (p = 0.026) to be independently associated with academic stress. Academic stress although a common finding among students, the coping style to deal with it, was good only in a few. The coping behaviours were not satisfactory particularly among male participants. This along with other determinants of academic stress identified in this study need to be addressed during counselling sessions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 06-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


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