A Study of Stress Sources Among College Students in Taiwan

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Journal of Academic and Business Ethics

A study of stress sources among college students in Taiwan
Cheng Kai-Wen Kaohsiung Hospitality College Abstract This paper was to investigate the sources of stress among college students in Taiwan. A questionnaire survey was conducted to collect research data. A total of 230 questionnaires were distributed, and 201 valid responses were obtained. Research findings suggested that male students feel stronger stress from family factor than female ones; students in higher grades feel more stress from physical/mental, school, and emotional factors; students who take a student loan also feel more stress from physical/mental, school, and emotional factors than those who do not. Keywords: College students, Stress

A Study of Stress Sources, Page 1

Journal of Academic and Business Ethics I. Introduction Adolescence is a stage of human development that occurs between childhood and adulthood. Although there are varying definitions of adolescence, adolescence is generally viewed as a stage where young people experience rapid growth of their body and mentality to full maturity during 12~25 years of age (Liu, 2001). In education system, adolescents are those receiving education in junior high schools, senior high schools, vocational high schools, colleges or universities. Due to fast physical changes and mental development at this stage, students may sometimes experience incompatibility of their mental development with their physical changes or with the social environment and thus suffer from problems arising from inadequate adaptations. These problems may further cause psychological troubles and even induce deviant behaviors. According to a survey titled “Depression among Adolescents in Taipei Area” conducted by John Tung Foundation (2004), 84.2% of the surveyed adolescents have experienced depression, 15.3% reported that they feel depressed almost everyday, and 33.6% said that depression occurs to them once a week. In terms of stress sources, 56.7% of them considered that their depression comes from school stress, 50.9% thought that their depression is caused by interpersonal relations, and 45.6% attributed their depression to academic tests. From the above statistics, it can be inferred that school is the main source of stress for adolescents, and stress is one of the important factors causing depression. Besides, the survey also revealed that depressed people are eight times more likely to commit suicide than normal people (John Tung Foundation, 2004). In all levels of schools, deaths caused by self-injury and suicide account for 12% of all deaths, a ratio slightly smaller than that of traffic accidents (Department of Health, Executive Yuan, 2006). According to Campus Security Report Center, Ministry of Education (2009), college students have most reported suicide cases, followed by senior/vocational high school students and junior high school students. College students are at a critical period where they will enter adulthood. They are expected to be the elites in the society. Thus, they should enhance their stress management abilities so as to live a healthy life after entering the society. According to Department of Statistics, Ministry of Education (2007), there are currently 162 colleges/universities in Taiwan, and more than half of them (93 schools) are institutes or colleges of technology. For college freshmen, they need to not only adapt themselves to the new life and new environment but also be familiar with many new people, events, and things. The life stress on them is considerable. Therefore, understanding the sources of stress among them and how they can cope with the stress is very important. Adolescence is a dangerous period of time where young people experience self organization and role confusion. For them, stress mainly comes from academic tests, interpersonal relations, relationship problems, life changes, and career exploration. Such stress may usually cause...
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