Stress and academic differences

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Stress and academic differences

  1. 1. Understanding Stress Among Students inDifferent Academic Programs Michael P. McNeil, MS, CHES, FACHA Columbia University ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011 These slides are available from www.alice.columbia.edu
  2. 2. How College Students from HistoricallyUnderrepresented Groups and Different AcademicPrograms Experience and Cope with StressThe attendee should be able to:1. Describe key sources and consequences of stress, coping strategies and resources among various groups of college students (including students from historically underrepresented groups and different academic programs).2. Identify qualitative and quantitative methods used in defining stress, and sources of, among college students.3. Discuss implications of findings and models used in conducting assessment and strategic planning to reduce the negative impact of stress among students. Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  3. 3. Overview• Identification of stress as a priority• Understanding of stress on campus• Assessment of the issue• Initial efforts• Next steps Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  4. 4. Identification of Stress asan Issue• Stress is a vague term –difficult to define and measure• Prolonged stress depletes the body’s resources and can have consequences for a person’s emotional and physical health• Stress is not a fixed state but a multi-phased process with interacting cognitive, behavioral, and physiological components• Transactional perspectives of stress emphasize the interactions between appraisal, coping, and environment Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  5. 5. Understanding Stress onCampus• Literature provides no universal definition of stress• Students could not fully agree on a definition of stress• Student wanted to focus on coping rather than defining stress Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  6. 6. Assessment of the Issue• Students perceive stress as ingrained in the culture of Columbia and as an expectation.• Stress is a unifying experience and the only commonality (norm) across all schools with which students can identify.• They would like to see the culture change but none are willing to take this on because their time here is transient. They also believe that students following them should have to experience the same stress that they did (“rite of passage” concept). Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  7. 7. Received versus DesiredHealth Information Received Information from the Columbia University Institution UNDERGRADUATE GRADUATE Stress Reduction 50.5 41.1 Desired Information from the Columbia University Institution UNDERGRADUATE GRADUATE Stress Reduction 63.9 58.1 Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  8. 8. ACHA-NCHA Data Columbia University Undergraduate Graduate Of those Of those experiencing experiencing Experienced Experienced … had an … had an … in last year … in last year academic academic impact* impact* Stress 77 38 72 29*A negative academic impact is defined as receiving a lower grade on an examor project, receiving a lower grade in a course, receiving an incomplete ordropping a course, or significant disruption in thesis, dissertation, research orpracticum work. Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  9. 9. Negative AcademicImpacts Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  10. 10. ACHA-NCHA Data Cluster #1 SAPP Athletes Greeks GSAS CC/SEAS Arts 25+ UG Athletes GS Business CC/SEAS Cont. Ed GS Greek International Cluster #2 Journalism Law All Remaining Groups SEAS grad SIPA SW 25+ UG Michael P. McNeilExperience and Academic Impact ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  11. 11. ACHA-NCHA Data The percentage of students reporting Columbia Universityexperiencing the following causes of stress in the last 30 days UNDERGRADUATE GRADUATENoise in my living environment 34.2 26.0Noise in my study environment 33.3 26.8Cluttered living environment 39.1 33.3Air quality in my living environment 23.9 18.4Lighting in my living environment 26.7 20.1Lighting in my study environment 23.8 18.8Physical distance between my living 21.6 23.9environment and classesAvailability of healthy food choices on 40.5 28.0campusAvailability of study space on campus 28.7 24.0Availability of space to relax and hang out on 26.3 22.2campusUniversity administrative processes 45.6 39.3Witnessed discrimination on campus 11.3 8.2Michael P. McNeilPopulation density on campus 13.8 15.2 Annual Meeting ACHA June 3, 2011
  12. 12. Initial EffortsThe overall goals of the program are to (1) define and measure student stress, and (2) reduce the negative impacts of student stress at Columbia University.• Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR)• Asset-based (positive coping)• Social marketing effort Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  13. 13. Community-BasedParticipatory Research (CBPR)• The project was not introduced as one addressing stress. Students were asked to describe whatever health-related issues they thought most strongly affected their student community; stress was predicted to naturally emerge as a leading issue.• Community group discussions & focus groups• Four themes: • Causes of stress • Effects of stress • Control over stress • Culture of stress Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  14. 14. Focus Group Themesby SchoolAcademic Columbia School of Graduate TeachersUnit College/SEAS General School of College Studies BusinessCommon Academic/School Academic/School Academic/School Academic/SchoolThemes Finances Finances Finances Finances Relationships Relationships Relationships Time Management Time Management Time ManagementUnique Social Circle Future Goals New Social HousingThemes Dynamics Location Adjustment Career Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  15. 15. Coping Strategy bySchoolAcademic Columbia School of Graduate TeachersUnit College/SEAS General School of College Studies BusinessTop Coping Interpersonal Physical Activity Physical Activity InterpersonalStrategy Support Support Physical Activity (tied score)Number Two see above Interpersonal Interpersonal Physical Activity Support Support Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  16. 16. Social MarketingQuestion:How do you cope with stress?Messages:“I do physical activity”“I prioritize and organize my schedule”“I take a nap”“I listen to music”“I spend time with friends” Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual MeetingMessages selected by students using allourideas.org June 3, 2011
  17. 17. Next steps• Evaluation of initial social marketing efforts• Analysis of Spring 2011 ACHA-NCHA Data• School-specific messages• Integration of stress with other health promotion efforts on campus Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011
  18. 18. Future-Orientation Sample Programmatic Area Concepts Integration Strategy Targeted Theoretical Justification MessagingPhysical activity Engaging in regular physical activity Stage-based motivational emails; Selected messaging: “I do physical Self-efficacy/SCT contributes to reducing stress Promotion of CU Move as exercise activity” TTM Physical activity contributes to improved and stress relief program; quality of focus and concentration, which Incentives related to stress relief; can reduce academic-related stress Promoting non-traditional Positive coping mechanism for stress concepts of physical activity (i.e. walking)Relationships Difficult interpersonal relationships as TBD Selected messaging: “I spend time Self-efficacy/SCT contributors to stress with friends” Seeking help from interpersonal relationships as a positive coping mechanism for stressSleep Lack of sleep as a contributor to stress Feedback on sleep assessment Selected messaging: “I take a nap” TTM Positive sleep behavior associated with incorporates positive stress reducing stress coping skills and suggestionsGo Ask Alice! Q&A related to coping with stress Promote relevant Q&A at events, Selected messaging: “I prioritize on Facebook page, etc. and organize my schedule”, “I Stress, anxiety, and learning to listen to music” cope Exercise motivation for stress reduction Drinking for stress relief - a problem? Fall asleep faster Procrastination Michael P. McNeil Stressed out and anxious about ACHA Annual Meeting schoolwork and everything June 3, 2011
  19. 19. Contact MeMichael P. McNeil, MS, CHES, FACHADirector, Alice! Health PromotionColumbia University212-854-5453mpmcneil@columbia.eduA copy of these slides is available from www.alice.columbia.eduClick on the “For Health Promotion Professionals” link. Michael P. McNeil ACHA Annual Meeting June 3, 2011

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