Vol. 4 No. 1 (2021): January-June [Edit closure: 01/01/2021]
Suggested quote (APA, seventh edition)
Pérez Aguilera, M., Hernández Rojas, Y., & Santiesteban Leyva, E. (2020). Academic stress in new students of bachelor`s Degree in Psychology at the University of Holguín, Cuba. Delectus, 4(1), 32-38. https://doi.org/10.36996/delectus.v4i1.99
UNIVERSIDAD DE HOLGUÍN, Cuba
UNIVERSIDAD DE HOLGUÍN, Cuba
UNIVERSIDAD DE HOLGUÍN, Cuba
Recently, physical and emotional health problems associated with stress have increased in the population. According to various studies by the World Health Organization (WHO), an increasingly significant number of people around the world suffer from stress. This research aimed to analyze which are the indicators of academic stress that emerge in a group of first year of the Bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of Holguín, given a series of deficiencies that appeared in these in the form of clinical symptoms, which were hindering the healthy development of the personality. The research allowed to know the presence of indicators of moderate academic stress and to critically assess their coping strategies.Keywords: College students, Stress, Academic stress, stressors, symptoms, coping strategies
The integral development of the Cuban student's personality in anyone of its learning environments, constitutes the main objective of our education system. The traffic toward to the university context it demands from these to develop a series of abilities, attitudes and values that allow an active adaptation to the new demands, it presupposes to establish new types of relationships among same, of even and it also implies new opportunities of freedom and of experiences, already much more independent of the family environment.
In this new stage in the youth's life, their psychological development and lifestyle will be reorganized to belong together to the increase of the rigor of the study, the multiplicity of educational tasks, to face new social relationships, etc. In this situation, it is fundamental that the same ones are prepared to avoid any risky behavior and to establish a balance between the new demands and the potentialities for their development.
Recently the problems of physical and emotional health have been increased in the population associated to the stress. According to diverse studies of the World Organization of the Health (WMH), a more and more significant quantity of people in the entire world suffers of stress. In the world, according to Boiler, Refined and Martínez (2007), "one of each four individuals suffers of some serious problem of stress and in the cities, he/she is considered that 50 percent of people has some problem of mental health of this type" (p. 78). This is one of the pathologies that were presented bigger frequency at the present time. The stress is considered a factor of risk for the development of a series of illnesses, although it is not the direct cause of the same ones.
Fisher (1986)considers that the entrance in the University, with the changes that this supposes, represents a group of situations highly stressful because the individual can experience, although in occasions transitorily, a control lack on the new atmosphere, potentially stress generator and, in last term, generating potential with other factors of the university academic failure.
In an exhaustive bibliographical revision on the the problem of the academic stress in the university, you could verify that in our country the investigations on the topic are limited, with relationship to European countries and of latinoamérica, where it is considered, it is a phenomenon generalized in the first years of university studies.
An exploratory study carried out in Havana Cityto determine some characteristics of the stress, reflected as most of the students, 69,2%, they are vulnerable to the stress Díaz (2010). Román, Ortiz and Hernández (2008), they verified the high vulnerability to the stress in a sample of students of first year of the career of Medicine in the Latin American School of Medicine (LASM).
The use of the term stress has been popularized without most of people have clear on what it consists the same one. When revising the wide bibliography on the topic, there are multitude of definitions, itsprefers to take in consideration that pointed out by Zaldívar (2011) who expressed that:
"It is analyzed the stress like distress synonym, obviating the stress dimension like a variant of this. In many investigations the limitation is observed that it is attributed a negative paper to the stress like disturbing element, excluding to the stress like the necessary basal activation for the adaptation to the environmental demand, even when the experience of the stress can become an important development factor and personal growth, as well as a tool of great utility for the achievement of a harmonic operation and of the maintenance of the health" (p. 45)
According to this author one lives inmersed in the stress, because the fellows are in a constant process of adaptation to the world that surrounds them, and at the same time of the own personal development, what causes to carry out constant efforts cognitives and behavioral to improve the situations in that they are presented.
The more recently studies about stress processes, they have put into consideration their positive aspects and the paper that this can carry out as development factor and personal growth, when an efficient handling of the same one is achieved, and that the students that have a lifestyle structured toward the attainment of its school goals and they present a style centered in the solution of problems, they are less vulnerable to the stress.
One of the authors that more results have achieved in the studies about academic stress is Barraza (2006) who defends the following idea: the academic stress is that whatthe students of superior half education and superior suffer andhave as exclusive source to stressors related with the activities to develop in the school environment. This definition is bounded to the stress that the students suffer as a consequence of the endogenous or exogenous demands that impact their acting in the school environment.
According to this author, the concept can be illustrated in the following way: the student is subjected, in school contexts, to a series of demands that, after being valued as stressors, they cause a systemic imbalance (stressing situation), this is manifested in a series of symptoms (indicators of the imbalance) that forces the student to carry out confrontation actions. This form of conceptualizing to the academic stress allows to recognize three components systemic-procesuales:stressors stimuli, symptoms (indicators of the systemic imbalance) and confrontation strategies.
Authors like Pole, Hernández, and Puddle (2009), they specify as causing of the academic stress: realization of exams, presentation of works, overloads academic, lack of time to fulfill the activities, competitiveness among partners, among others. On the other hand Barraza (2007) adds: overload of tasks, to maintain a good average, lack of incentives, personal problems among partners and excess of responsibility.
The academic stress is considered in the world, a problem to which a growing attention is lending. With relationship to the above-mentioned is observed an absence of mechanisms and processes of institutional adjustment (at least in a deliberate way) in the university, of mechanisms and psychological tools so they provide of resources, not only to the individual but also to the institution, for the handling of the academic stress from a global educational perspective that stimulates the development of the individual's personality so it is not very vulnerable to the stress. A reorientation of the operation of the educational educational process is not appreciated and to the life of the university community with a view to minimizing the events stresors, as well as the student's psychopedagogicaldevelopment.
Encounters course: modality of studies that is frequently characterized by present encounters in the university biweekly where the student receives orientations to develop her studies for her bill being evaluated in the following encounter. (note of the Author).
My experience as ateacher has facilitated to appreciate that when the studensts of psychology ofencounters cousers, faces to their new reality as auniversity student, with the demands and abilities that they should develop to face the tasks,begin to manifest a series of behaviors thatthey go from:defensive reactions, until a series of clinical symptomatology, so much physical as psychological thathinder the process of teaching learning andbrake the development of the healthy personality.
The educational load demands from the student of the encounters course, to remain in class two weekends a month, with two sessions generally of six hours class. An important aspect for the students is the attendance to classes and move from their residence place to the university headquarters can significant a big effort, mainly for those that live far from the same one.
The students of this type of courses develop their learing in their double worker- student condition. In the organization of the time dedicated to their educational duties, they relapse in a decisive way the demands that impose them the acting of their profession and the demands of their family and private life, those will always be in dependence of the priority that grants to the execution of these in connection with the rest of the professional, family and personal demands in each case.
Reflective the above-mentioned an idea of the demands that, in dedication of time and demands of academic nature, they relapse on the student of first year of the career. In that sense, the students of Psychology it can turn affected because they don't still have all the necessary personal and social resources to face of excessive demands of stress, but in turn, it constitutes a potentiality that they can recognize for the formation that they receive during their formation as a psycologist.
All the above-mentioned exposed have sense, when we appreciate that in study carried out students of the first year of the Career of Psychology of the Holguín`s University, it showed inadequacies related with the handling of expiriences of the academic stress.
The stresors that are identified: the overload of tasks, the difficulty to organize the time, the difficult problems solutions and the academic overload. The clinical symptomatology that prevails: presence of feelings of concern and edginess, anxiety, concentration problems, migraine, dysfunctions of the dream, asthenia to carry out the school works. The confrontation strategies to which appealed with more frequency were: the assertive ability, the elaboration of a plan and execution of their tasks, the ventilation and the secrets and to amuse seeing television, but these are not being completely effective for the confrontation to the academic stress, since they don't fulfill their function that would be to reestablish the systemic balance or to eliminate symptoms.
It is necessary to highlight that the pedagogic look on the problem, is centered not so much in the difficulties of people, but in identifying a wide enriching experience, framed in the development possibilities and of learning, starting from the expirience of the academic stress. It is for it that intends as objective: To analyze which are the indicators of the academic stress thatemerges in a group of first year of the Bachelor`s Degree career in Psychology of theUniversity of Holguìn.
The methods and techniques used for this investigation were:
Observation: to verify the presence or not of clinical symptomatology.
Interviews: to deepen in the perceived stressors or not, as well as they use the confrontation strategies before the academic stress.
Study of cases: to verify as the resources personological of a fellow can potential or not the emergency of the academic stress.
Inventory of the SISCO on the academic stress: to evaluate, stresors, symptoms and confrontation strategies.
The Population were constituted by 314 students of the Psychology career in theUniversity of Holguìn, and for the Sample were chosen intentionally, 30 students again entrance with manifestations of the academic stress.
With the carried-out diagnosis we could verify in the students of first year of the career of Psychology of the University of Holguín, the emergency of indicators of academic stress.The presence of feelings of concern or edginess are observed in the entirety of the group of students what suggests the probability of academic stress in the same ones.
In detailed analysis of the applied techniques, it could be proven that the academic stressors that refer with more frequency the students are: difficulty in the organization of the time, this it is presented in the entirety and with a bigger intensity. When investigating like they organize their time as well as they are planned to complete the academic demands or which strategies consider more effective, we could verify that most of they don't have a structured plan that it organizes their time, rather they use strategies in rehearsal form - error that you/they give place to the emergency of the academic stress.
A tendency is observed to refer academic overload. The students refer study excess, of educational tasks or of work. This stressor is related with the problems of temporary organization referred previously.The overload is propitiated when not knowing how to discriminate against between the important thing and the urgent thing to organize their time in a such way that favors a study activity free of stress.
It is also appreciated as stressor the difficulty in the solution of problems, observed in the realization of oral exams in which are made complex to be expressed to communicate the knowledge. This is related with the appropriation of the language of the science, mainly in the subject’s characteristic of the Psychology, therefore, it becomes in a barrier in the communication. They generally refer insecurity and difficulty to understand those "types of works that the professors request" as those that require searches in Internet and depth in the investigation. It is valid to highlight that the estressor overload of tasks, prevails in the feminine sex. You can appreciate that to the overload of educational tasks, others are added referred to domestic tasks in the acting of their list like woman. This can be related with the sociocultural construction that has this list, to which are designated housewife's tasks, it handcuffs, mother, daughter, worker with inherent responsibilities to them. For what the emergency of the academic stress can impact with more frequency and intensity in the feminine gender on the masculine one.
The most frequent symptomatology that the university students manifest is: dysfunctions in the dream (insomnia bigger necessity of sleeping), perspiration in the palms of the hands, digestive problems, migraine or headache, pain in the neck or in the low part of the back, restlessness and edginess, excessive concern, difficulty to concentrate, sensation of insecurity, irritability, and in smaller measure, competitiveness.
The characteristic confrontation in the students of the career evidences that the used actions are not being effective to revert their consequences. The resources for the used confrontation are: assertive ability to defend their preferences, ideas or feelings without damaging others; search of information on the situation that they worry about and to maintain the control about the emotions so that it doesn't affect them thatstress them, this to the being one of those most used ones and with more intensity, it denotes as these actions they are not being effective, because it prevails more the style centered in the emotion that in that of the solution of problems. For what the levels of academic stress are high.
A propensity is appreciated to be centered more in the avoid and distraction than in the solution of the real problems and the resources to which go in a general way they are: to listen music, to see television, calculation games, to share with friends and couple, to talk about what they worry about with family and friends, to try to remember similar situations happened previously and to repeat the solution experience and ultimately to concentrate on solving the situation that they worry about.
A tendency is observed to the immaturity that could be influencing in an active way in these behaviors, that which makes us think of the possibility of satisfactory evolution in later years when emerge the maturity like indicator of personological regulation. This situation evidences rigidity in the confrontation and poor capacity for the use of a wide variety of actions, with the purpose of managing the different demands that think about in the situations.
Some of these questions, coincide with the results obtained in the Central University "Marta Abreu" of The Villages where you began the process of validation of the Inventory SISCO of the academic stress of Barraza (2007). By means of an instrumental investigation with a sample of 343 students of first and third year of the different careers of this institution (Jiménez Jorge and Nieves (2013). Among the main results of the indexed investigation, the presence of deep academic stress was described, being bigger in the women. The situations stressants that stand out are the overload of tasks extra classes and independent works, the evaluations and the work type that the professors demand, the participation in classes and the limited time for the realization of these works. Among the symptoms that the students experience before this situation, they prevail (...), the restlessness and the concentration problems; (...) the headaches and migraines, the drowsiness or bigger necessity to sleep; (...), the reluctance to carry out the school works. The most frequent confrontation strategies were: the assertive ability, the elaboration of a plan and execution of their tasks, the ventilation and the secrets. This takes us to meditate that the problem of the academic stress is realler of that than it looks.
According to the carried-out diagnosis, we coincided with Fernández (2007), in the sense of as certain contents of the personality, they can propitiate or not an active and effective confrontation to the academic stress, like they can be the motivation, the relationship maturity-immaturity like indicator of regulation personological and the capacity of self-regulation of the behavior in a conscious way. The self-regulation of the behavior in a conscious way in the confrontation of the stress, for excellence constitutes the indicator of the healthy personality. It is indispensable that takes place in the fellow the formation of mechanisms and psychological contents that allow them, as tendency of their performance, to organize in a stable, conscious and voluntary way their behavior.
It is contrasting that the students more stressed are those that better academic results obtain, they are those that more they make an effort to complete the school tasks and those of better attendance to classes. That which could be revealing potentialities that, of being identified and managed appropriately, it could transform the academic stress into a facilitator for the development.
Starting from these results it is inferred that the academic stress that emerges in some students in its first years of the career, could be transitory and transformed into an impulse for the development, if it is identified on time and one works in the stimulation of the potentialities. This inference is based on the identification of academic stressors that they keep relationship with problems of adaptation and transition inside the educational system that they were not present in precedent teachings and that they are perceived by these as overflowing.
The academic stress of not being contained on time, it could put in danger the maintenance of their health, so much physical as psychological. But with an appropriate handling of the previously described tendencies, a favorable diagnosis is predicted after a healthy development of the personality and an appropriate administration of the stress.
With the carried-out diagnosis we could verify in the students of first year of the career of Psychology of the University of Holguín, the emergency of indicators of academic stress:
“Theestresors that are identified: The overload of tasks, the difficulty to organize the time, the difficulty in the solution of problems and the academic overload.
“The clinical symptomatology that prevail: Presence of feelings of concern and edginess, anxiety, concentration problems, migraine, dysfunctions of the dream, asthemia to carry out the school works.
“The confrontation strategies to which appealed with more frequency were: the assertive ability, the elaboration of a plan and execution of their tasks, the ventilation and the secrets and to amuse seeing television, but he/she gets the attention that these are not being completely effective for the confrontation to the academic stress, since they don't fulfill their function that would be to reestablish the systemic balance or to eliminate symptoms.
It was also verified, as certain contents of the personality they can propitiate or not an active and effective confrontation to the academic stress, for what is inferred that the expirience of the academic stress that emerges in some students in its first years of the career, could be transitory and transformed into an impulse for the development, if it is identified on time and one works in the stimulation of the potentialities.
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