Stress Tolerance: New Challenges for the Millennial College Students

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College Student Journal


Problem: College years have been deemed as one of the most stressful periods of a person's life (Hales, 2009). The millennial generation of college students are unique in characteristics, including the manner in which they handle stressors.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify lifestyle habits and coping strategies that may be significantly associated with high or low stress tolerance among millennial college students.

Methods: An epidemiological cross-sectional study of randomly selected college students (N=246) completed the Stress Tolerance Questionnaire (STQ), which was comprised of checklists for stressors, symptoms, and coping strategies. Stress tolerance ratios (STRs) were calculated, and subjects divided into high or low stress tolerance groups. Statistical differences were determined by Chi-Square and Odds Ratio (95%CI). Results: Ten lifestyle/coping factors (out of 29) were significantly associated with high stress tolerance (HST): one was a protective factor (feeling supported) while the nine others put one at risk for low stress tolerance (cleaned apartment, prayed, called mom, used internet social network (among others) (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Coping mechanisms and lifestyle habits currently employed by the millennial college students are not only ineffective for alleviating stress, but also putting these students at risk for low stress tolerance.