Could not download file: This paper is available to authorised users only.


E. Tuite, L. McLean

Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (IRELAND)
The changing face of the Irish third level education system (Higher Education Authority, 2012) presents many opportunities for students entering post primary education, however there may be a need to consider the significant challenges it may also pose for these students. This paper highlights possible issues and strategies to overcome these challenges. The interplay between a range of environmental and personality factors are thought to lead to feelings of stress and burnout and an effective response requires intervention at an individual and organizational level. The current study sought to identify self-reported levels of stress among a cohort of third level students and detail responses to stress utilised by these students.

This research utilises a quantitative research approach to identify challenges experienced by particular student groups in relation to stress and burn-out. Findings in the current study are based on a sample of 102 undergraduate students from a third level college in Ireland. Two scales were administered to the group. The 10 item perceived stress scale (Cohen, Kamarck & Mermelstein, 1983) and the 28 item COPE inventory (Carver 1997) in the second semester of the 2015/16 academic year. The Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen et al, 1983) has previously been used to identify perceived levels of stress in a broad population of college students. The scale is intended to assess the extent to which respondents found their lives unpredictable, uncontrollable and overloading and is proposed by the developers as being a more consistent indicator of stress levels than questionnaires based on recounting of specific life events which are perceived to be stressful. In addition to administration of the scale this study utilises a range of basic demographic questions and a small number of questions related to sources of support and effective mechanisms to manage stress arising a part of academic participation.