EFFECTS OF STRESS ON STUDENTS STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Stress is a common element in the lives of every individual,regardless of race or cultural background. Over the pastfew decades, there has been significant investigation on theissues of stress and management of stress. In addition,college students have been shown to possess a unique set ofstressors which can affect their daily experiences.Stress hasbeen defined as the adversereaction people have to excessive pressure or other type ofdemands placed on them (Campbell, 2006). Thus, Stress consists of any event in which environmental demands, internal demands or both tax or exceed the adaptive resources of the individual(Lazarus & Folkman 1986). In other words, stress arises when there are burden on the person which exceed his available assets. Stress occurs when an individual is confronted by a situationthat he perceive as overwhelming and cannot cope with.Academic Stress is the pressure and anxiety that come from schooling and education. As a matter of fact, college students in their peculiar endeavors are exposed to various kinds of stressors including academic and psychological stress which could militate against their active participation in school activities, and this may block the possibilities of realizing their educational goals.It is considered to be a part of students‘ life and can impact the students coping strategies in accordance with the demands of academic life. This is so because academic work is always accomplished with stressful activities. Thus, tertiary institution students are very vulnerable to experience stress, which may be related to many educational outcomes.Lazarus and Folkman (2007) stated that person’s response towards stress depends on whether an event is appraised as a challenge or a threat.It is a necessary and inescapable concomitant of daily living-necessary because without some stress we would be 2 listless and apathetic creatures. Erkutlu andChafra (2006) for instance opines that, when these events take place, an individual may becomedisorganized, disoriented and therefore less able to cope with, thus may result in stress relatedproblems. The pressure to perform well in the examination or test and time allocated mightmake academic environment very stressful. However, it is pertinent to note that if stressed students cannot effectively learn and consequently perform poorly in their academics,it would be very difficult to realize the Federal Government‘s objectives on Tertiary Education. The incidence of stress especially among College of Education students has increased dramatically in recent years.There is often a lot of pressure that comes along with pursuing NCE Certificate and one’s education. There is studying, assignment, tests, labs, reading, and quizzes. Teachers expect work to be completed on time.There is the stress of doing all of the work, balancing the time and finding time for extra-curricular activities. There are several explanations forincreased stress levels in college students. First, students haveto make significant adjustments to college life. Second,because of the pressure of studies, there is strain placed oninterpersonal relationships. Third, housing arrangements andchanges in lifestyle contribute to stress experienced by collegestudents. In addition, students in college experience stressrelated to academic requirements, support systems, andineffective coping skills. Whereas these factors have beenfound to be responsible for stress, it is worth noting that inorder to minimize the stress among students, the Collegeadministrators must develop appropriate strategies that willenable them to detect in advance the symptoms and causes ofthe stress.According to Yumba (2009), possible sources of stress that can be faced in academic situations could be viewed in four areas: by relating with others, personal factors, academic factors,and environmental factors. Motivation is a driving force for students‘ engagement in learning. Student engagement in learning is not only an end in itself but it is also a means to the end of students 3 achieving sound academic outcome. This is important because authentic engagement may lead to higher academic achievement throughout student life (Zyngier, 2008).Satisfactory school learning and academic achievement are unlikely to take place in absence of sufficient motivation to learn. Psychologists have noted that motivation should be taken into account in education because of its effective relationship with new learning, abilities, strategies and behaviors. By motivation people are stimulated to successfully complete an assignment, achieve a goal or a degree of qualification in their professions. Accordingly motivation defines the reasons behind people‘s behavior and determines why they behave in a particular way. Motivated behaviors are energetic, oriented and permanent (Omidiyan, 2006).

Statement of the Problem

It was generally observed by the researcher that academic achievement among NCE students has been on the decline over the years. As a matter of fact, every student is in school to academically succeed, but a careful observation has shown that some students and graduate of Colleges of Education seems not to be living up to expectation. The situation where you find an NCE holder having difficulties in the use of English or teaching call for serious concern. Students experience certain pressure in school such as having prerequisite credit units for graduation, passing prescribed examinations, complying with the rules and regulations of the institution among others. There is a parental expectation from students such as graduating with a good result and acquiring moral values from school. Also, community counts on the students to graduate and contribute to the development of such communities. Furthermore, an 6 additional pressure to obtain financial support that is often limited for college students contributes to their stress. At individual level, students battle within them with issues such as interest in their course of study vis-à-vis their aspirations after graduation, worry about their competence in their course of study, the relevance of their course of study in the labour market, finding life partner and a host of others. In the long run, these problems might lead to stress and later to delinquent behaviours. This stress can negatively influence their motivation to achieve as well as leading to adjustment problems.Academic stress is associated with many problems, such as school difficulties and dropout, unwanted pregnancies, health problems, drug and alcohol abuse and smoking among students, as well as anxiety.When stress takes over the whole person‘s emotions, bodily functions, behaviours and thoughts they will become so irritated and may not see reasons for doing anything. This situation renders the individual inactive and unhealthy.

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Updated: 20th December 2019 — 6:55 am

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