Title

Stress: Worse Than the Freshman 15?

Presenter Information

Kristen HigginsFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Psychology

Minor

German

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Amanda Joyce, PhD

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

College students experience more change within a few years than most other age groups. This change, among other aspects, can cause increased amounts of stress (Lau et al, 2006). Past research has indicated that certain individuals lack the coping skills necessary to deal with stress adequately, causing a wide range of negative effects (D’Zurilla & Sheedy, 1991; Ross, Niebling, & Heckert, 1999). Brougham, Zail, Mendoza, and Miller (2009) also found significant genetic differences between males and females and their use of coping mechanisms. This current study examined the effects of different coping mechanisms on stress levels in college students, as well as gender differences in the use of coping mechanisms. There were 85 undergraduate participants, primarily female and Caucasian. Participants were broken into four groups, who each experienced different stress-relieving treatments. One group experienced an informational video discussing ways to effectively deal with stress, another experienced a guided meditation video, the third completed a passage in a gratitude journal, and the final, control, group received no treatment. The results will be discussed.

Keywords: coping mechanisms, stress, gratitude journal

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Stress: Worse Than the Freshman 15?

College students experience more change within a few years than most other age groups. This change, among other aspects, can cause increased amounts of stress (Lau et al, 2006). Past research has indicated that certain individuals lack the coping skills necessary to deal with stress adequately, causing a wide range of negative effects (D’Zurilla & Sheedy, 1991; Ross, Niebling, & Heckert, 1999). Brougham, Zail, Mendoza, and Miller (2009) also found significant genetic differences between males and females and their use of coping mechanisms. This current study examined the effects of different coping mechanisms on stress levels in college students, as well as gender differences in the use of coping mechanisms. There were 85 undergraduate participants, primarily female and Caucasian. Participants were broken into four groups, who each experienced different stress-relieving treatments. One group experienced an informational video discussing ways to effectively deal with stress, another experienced a guided meditation video, the third completed a passage in a gratitude journal, and the final, control, group received no treatment. The results will be discussed.

Keywords: coping mechanisms, stress, gratitude journal