Stress, Coping and Gender Differences in Third Year Medical Students

Sahana Madhyastha, K. S. Latha, Asha Kamath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Medical school can be challenging and poses varied number of stressors to the students. Stress can affect well-being and hamper academic performance. Adaptive coping strategies can protect students against stress. Stress experience and coping may differ across genders. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of stress, examine gender differences in stress experience and coping in a sample of 94 third year medical students. Consenting students were administered Professional Student Stress Survey and Carver's Brief COPE. All students reported stress and majority experienced stress to a moderate degree (50.5 per cent). Academic performance and professional identity issues were of greatest concerns. Female students had more academic performance stress. Among coping strategies, support seeking was more in females as shown by the increased use of instrumental support seeking (problem-focused) and emotional support seeking (emotion-focused) in comparison to males. Humour, a positive emotion-focused strategy and self-blame, a maladaptive strategy, were used more by males. The findings point towards the crucial need for stress management programs and coping skills training to help medical students manage stress and enhance positive coping strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-326
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy


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