Effective Lifestyle Habits and Coping Strategies for Stress Tolerance among College Students

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American Journal of Health Education




Background: Stress among college students is a major problem, impacting their overall health. Students, especially freshmen, are expected to handle difficult academic workloads at a faster pace while adapting to new social situations. In addition, findings from new stress data purport that stress responses might vary by gender and race.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine effectiveness of lifestyle habits and coping strategies on stress tolerance among college students, specific to race and gender.

Methods: College students (N=459) completed a stress inventory, which was comprised of three established surveys of 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 estimates and odds ratio calculations (95%CI).

Results: Seven lifestyle/coping factors (out of 20) were significantly associated with high stress tolerance (HST) for males, 13 for females, and five were commonly shared (P

Discussion: The findings of this study support those from previous research studies wherein it was found that college students are “overwhelmed,” “suffer from emotional ups and downs,” “have difficulty falling asleep,” and “feelings of anxieties.

Translation To Helath Education Practice: Differences in effectiveness of coping strategies among students strongly suggest that genders and races cope differently and that “one size fits all” health education stress intervention programs may not be effective for college students.