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ERIC Number: EJ994215
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0146-3934
Academic Major as a Perceived Stress Indicator: Extending Stress Management Intervention
May, Ross W.; Casazza, Stephen P.
College Student Journal, v46 n2 p264-273 Jun 2012
Previous research that has explored stress differences between "hard" and "soft" academic majors did not provide clear criteria for categorizing "hard" and "soft" majors, used a single item to measure reported stress, and reported contradictory stress differences between academic majors (Myrtek, Hilgenberg, Brugner, & Muller, 1997). With an improved research design, the utility of using a "hard" versus "soft" science academic major distinction to inform stress management interventions was investigated. In this study, surveys containing the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10; Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983), the Personal Views Survey III-R (PVS-III-R; Maddi & Khoshaba, 2001), and supplemental questions were administered to third, fourth or fifth year undergraduate students. Findings (N = 259) indicated that hard science majors experienced significantly more perceived stress than soft science majors. Additionally, results of a hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that the distinction between hard and soft science academic majors accounted for a significant increase in the prediction of variance in perceived stress scores after controlling for demographic components, extracurricular activities, employment hours, close friend relationships, significant other relationships, parental relationships and individual differences in coping skills. These findings inform existing stress management interventions in targeting academic subpopulations prone to elevated stress levels. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A