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ERIC Number: ED178001
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 256
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Students Under Stress. A Study in the Social Psychology of Adaptation.
Mechanic, David
Students' reactions to preliminary Ph.D. examinations are investigated in this study examining responses to stress and techniques of adaptation. The applications of stress in a social science context are discussed and elements of successful social adaptation are examined. A study of 20 graduate students taking departmental written examinations suggests that these exams represent not only an academic challenge but also a challenge to self-esteem, and affect the future role of a professional. The way in which students and faculty communicate with one another is considered an important aspect of understanding how students deal with the examination situation. It is suggested that the student's exposure to the examination process, his physical location, his position in the student communication structure, and his exposure to more advanced graduate students will determine anxiety and coping reactions. Extensive investigation was made of how students allocated their time prior to exams. Interactional, cognitive, and defense modes of coping are discussed. The effect of the exams on students' families are considered and students' reactions to passing and failing are documented. It is concluded that an individual's stress reaction to a situation is dependent on the extent to which means can or cannot easily be employed to reverse the challenge, the duration of the experience, and the individual's involvement in the situation. Each of these factors will influence the manner in which an individual adapts to stress. (SF)
University of Wisconsin Press, Box 1379, Madison, WI 53701 ($15.00 cloth, $5.95 paper)
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A