Perceived stress, role strain and role involvement, predictors of academic achievement in associate degree female nursing students
This study explored relationships among a set of stress-related and demographic variables as predictors of academic achievement in 69 female nursing students. Perceived stress, role strain, role involvement and demographic variables were correlated with examination scores and semester grade point average. Perceived stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983), role strain using the Women's Role Strain Inventory (Lengacher, 1997), multiple-role involvement using the Multiple Role Involvement Scale, and demographics using a demographic survey.
A non-experimental correlational, longitudinal research design was utilized. Lazarus' transactional model of stress (1966), Goode's theory of role strain (1960) and Sieber's (1974) theory of role accumulation were used to guide the research study.
Positive correlations were found between perceived stress and role strain (r = .62, p < .05), indicating as students experienced more role strain they also perceived more stress. Perceived stress was significantly correlated with race (p < .05), indicating non-white students perceived higher levels of stress than white students. Positive correlations were found between prior nursing grade point average and the dependent variables measuring academic achievement (p <.0001).
Hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed prior nursing grade point average and role strain were predictors of academic achievement. Perceived stress, role strain and role involvement added seven percent to the 31% variance in examination scores and four percent to the 24% variance in semester grade point average.
More non-Caucasian students dropped out than Caucasian students (p < .01). Students who completed had a higher level of general education (p < .04) and a higher prior nursing grade point average (p < .0001).
Students who experienced an increase in role strain had a greater potential for decreased academic achievement. Associate degree nursing programs should become more sensitive to needs of minority and multiple-role students and conduct research in the area of role strain and students ability to cope with multiple roles. Research should also be conducted in the area of ethnicity and variables that effect high drop out rates.
0350: Health education