effect of stress on students academic performance

Topics: Anxiety, Stress, Acute stress reaction Pages: 19 (6796 words) Published: December 6, 2013
2.1 Literature Review
This chapter reviews previous writings of recognised authorities and past research findings relating to research findings, the research problems of the study where reviewed by the researcher. Scholars, academia and works of other researchers were also reviewed in order to gain knowledge useful for the study and to avoid duplication of already done work on the study. The researcher reviewed a literature on the Effect of Stress on Student’s Academic Performance on Kogi State University Undergraduates”. The researcher also presents a theoretical approach relevant to the study and its implication. There are several theoretical positions devised for examining and understanding stress and its related disorders. Brantley and Thomason (1995) categorized them into three groups: Response Theories, Stimulus Theories, and Interaction (or Transaction) Theories. These theories serve as useful ways to present the various theories and associated research. 2.1.1 Historical Background of Stress

The term stress had none of its contemporary connotations before the 1920s. It is a form of the Middle English destresse, derived via Old French from the Latin stringere, "to draw tight." The word had long been in use in physics to refer to the internal distribution of a force exerted on a material body, resulting in strain. In the 1920s and 1930s biological and psychological circles occasionally used the term to refer to a mental strain or to a harmful environmental agent that could cause illness. Walter Cannon used it in 1926 to refer to external factors that disrupted what he called homeostasis. But "Stress as an explanation of lived experience is absent from both lay and expert life narratives before the 1930s". The use of the term ‘stress' is now so integrated into our thoughts that it sometimes feels it has always been there. In fact stress, as we currently think of it, is a relatively new concept and its one that continues to evolve. Had we lived in the fourteenth century we would most certainly have used the term “stress”. But, with one or two notable exceptions, it would have had very little to do with our psychological state, except perhaps by implication. Stress had more to do with adversity, hardship or some form of affliction. It was not until the eighteenth and nineteenth century that a shift in meaning started to occur. As most people know, the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are associated with a period of intense scientific and industrial progress. As the sciences developed so language adapted in order to both accommodate and articulate these changes. The physical sciences, most notably engineering, began to use terms like stress, strain, resilience, pressure, elasticity, etc, to describe its effects. Nearly everyone will recognise these as an expression commonly used within medicine and psychology. Still others, like ‘snapping' or ‘breaking point', tend not to be used within the professions these days but they retain a position in everyday language relating to emotions or behaviour. The adoption of the term “stress” as a psychological concept is frequently attributed to Hans Selye in 1936. By 1956, Selye had added to the developing ideas about stress by putting forward a three stage process known as the general adaptation syndrome (GAS). Selye stated that in response to some external stressor we first react by mobilizing our physical resources to deal with or escape from the stressor, Selye called this the ‘alarm' stage. The second stage, called ‘resistance', involves ways of coping with the alarm stage by trying to reverse it. Thirdly, the stage of ‘exhaustion' occurs if an individual is repeatedly exposed to the stressor and is unable to escape.  As historians of psychology would be quick to point out, Selye actively avoided using the term stress until 1946. He was acutely aware of the fact...
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