Editor's Notes

Kristen Higgins, a student of Murray State University's Psychology department, conducted research on the amount of stress that modern college students experience. As a part of her study, Higgins investigates the effects of different coping mechanisms on stress for college students. Higgins conducted this research under the direction of Amanda Joyce, PhD.


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.


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