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THE STRESSES ENCOUNTERED BY STUDENT ASSISTANTS IN AQUINAS UNIVERSITY OF LEGAZPI

An Undergraduate Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Aquinas University of Legazpi

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Czarina Grace B. Bercasio Joe am L. Baranda Jay M. Quiling

October 2012

CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING

Introduction The prospect of the college education is very promising to almost all students. It depicts the last stage of educational struggles, often described as the final stage for the preparation for employment for the chosen course of an individual student. It is prospectively the most expensive stage of education due to the increasing demands in matriculation, allowance and for some rental, board and lodging and other fees. With the reality that not even half of the middle class can send their children to the top universities in the Philippines college education is compromised. Even state universities and government owned universities cannot subsidize to zero the mass need for college education unlike the public elementary and secondary schools which pose an even bigger problem for more than half of the Philippine populace seeking for greener pasture through gaining college education. With this background though not all young people are discouraged to study because of these monetary limitations. Once a high school graduate is determined to succeed given the chance to study they comply even on many strenuous circumstances. (Lopez, 2006) Few of the most common means students achieve educational sustenance is college are scholarships both from the schools and private sectors, working student set up and the educational assistance from the university itself in turn of the service of becoming a student assistant for the university which is the focus of the present undertaking. Usually, these students belongs to low-income

background in the society whom their parents have insufficient money or cannot simply afford them to pursue a college degree. In the Philippines, there are a lot of Scholarship Programs offered especially for College Students. Commonly these come from politicians, different government agencies and educational assistance programs like the ones given by CHED. Considering the lack of subsidy in college education compared to that of elementary and high school education most are for students the university/college where student chooses to enrol. However, these scholarships have its disadvantages usually depending on the grantor but in general it encourages the students to be above or within its maintaining grade for the agencies and private scholarship grantors to feel that they are still worthy to be sustained of the financial support. Just like any university, Aquinas University of Legazpi offers a Scholarship Program made by the university in which they will work in the school as student assistants with required number of hours and a maintaining grade in exchange for the applied scholarship in their chosen course. But the downside is that only few courses are offered for those aspiring to gain college education with scholarship assistance. It is undeniable that to be a student assistant entails stress and pressure on a college student. According to the new Webster dictionary, stress is the condition in which the person responds to change in the normal balance state. A stimulus or stressor that leads the individual to experience stress may cause it. Stress occurs whenever a person or individual fails to cope with the stimuli presented them. Any regular student for that experience stress in their lives even the absence of additional workloads but considering the present focus of the study in which a student who instead of focusing on studying

24/7 is given the load of assisting in varied offices of the school to be able to render service for a scholarship to continue on with their education. These then is the problem the study sought to answer. The challenges met by the student assistants are usually unique per individual considering the varying personalities of individuals and their dedication to work. What makes the job extra harder may be the fact that aside from studying their lessons consistently and being able to relax in between to recall their focus and have fun the life of a student center on regular classes, work in the offices and libraries as SAs to complete the working hours, advance readings for lessons and exams and keeping up with work and the people within the area and extra hard work to make their scholarship to stay alive. When an imbalance in this sets in stress occurs for the student. It has been given that proper adjustment from the work overload and balancing of activities and time is the key but with an unpredictable college life where schedules may be varied there will an inevitable presence of stress. Perceived problems in related studies explain that the causes of stress of students assistants are that they do not have time to mingle with their friends, become caught in too much pressure by their parents, workload on exam weeks and feeling of shame of working in the school. Seeing all these problems a student assistant can only talk and relate to their co-student assistants. In totality a student assistant is prone to holistic experience of stress. In the aspect of physique and health waking up very early in the morning everyday is also necessary for them in order not to be late from their duty hours thus posing a threat to their physical body and health. Adjustments in the social aspect include learning how to be used quickly to the different demands of their work as well as the different personality of the

students or the office staffs they work with. So to speak, they have to fight for these stressors by an ideal adjustment. The stress being experience in between work and studies is the most common problem encountered by student assistants. They need patience, time management and strong determination to graduate from the course they had taken and face those circumstances and trials that may come, in life of a college student, and life being a working student. The researchers had come up with this study in order to investigate or know how the student assistants cope up with the stressors they experience between study and work. The main importance of this study is to determine the coping techniques of the student assistants as a working student in college. In addition, after this study will be conducted, the researchers can give nursing strategies for helping the said respondents improve their stress-coping mechanisms.

Statement of the Research Problem This study aimed to determine the stressors and coping mechanisms between employed by student assistants of Aquinas University of Legazpi. Specifically, it sought to answer the following sub-problems: 1. What is the profile of the respondents in terms of: a) Age b) Area of Assignment 2. What are the stresses encountered by the respondents in terms of: a) Academic Requirements

b) Job Description 3. What are the coping mechanisms utilized by the student assistants to minimize the stresses related to academic requirements and work performance? 4. What measures may be offered to maintain good academic and effective work performance?

Scope and Limitation of the Study The study on the stresses encountered by the Student Assistants in Aquinas University of Legazpi a study which shall employ the response of 25 student assistants enrolled in Aquinas University for the academic year 2011-2012. The study shall cover the stresses experienced by the student assistants in their academic performance and job description. It shall also aim to minimize the stresses through the use of coping mechanisms related to the academic requirements and work performance of student assistants. The study will not delve deeper into the problems experienced by the students in terms of their personal aspects of life such as family, friends, special relationships and the likes but shall include the factor of financial capability and its effects to the students education. It shall not also include information and response of the irregular student assistants for they have fewer subject loads and may not experience more stress.

Significance of the Study The findings of this study will particularly give significant insights and baseline information to the following:

Student Assistants. Who are the respondents of this study they will be aware of the common causes of the stress in which they can adapt varied stress coping strategies that will help them in their academic and work performance. This study will provide with knowledge that will help them perform their work efficiently and with confidence. Parents. Knowing the causes of stress among their children, parents can help their child by being more understanding, tolerant and supportive. University Professors. Through this study, the academic and university instructor of each student assistants in Aquinas University will understand the students better and help them cope with stress related to their work and studies Office Staff/College Personnel. The possible identification of stress among student assistants can generate understanding from office staff/college personnel. They can also become considerate and helpful through the students academic performance as well as during their duty hours. School Administrators. The school administrators can give insight on how to minimize stress-causing situation in the university. In addition, seminar, lectures and the like, can be extended to the student assistants, so they will develop better stress coping strategies. Future Researchers. This study will serve as a relevant source of information for similar studies in the future.

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CHAPTER II CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

This chapter presents the review of related literature and studies that bears relevance to the study. It includes concepts, articles, theories, results of studies both of local and international origin which will serve as a source of information and a basis for further studies. The conceptual framework was also presented towards the end of the chapter to provide a blueprint of the interrelation of concepts, theories and the problems that this study seeks to answer.

Related Literature and Studies Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you sense danger whether its real or imagined the body's defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the fight-or-flight reaction, or the stress response. People use the term stress in many ways. First, stress is an experience a person is exposed to, through a stimulus or a stressor. Stressors are disruptive forces operating within or on any system (Kutchpak, 2003). Stress is also the appraisal, or perception of a stressor. Appraisal is how people interpret the impact of the stressor on themselves, of what is happening and what they can do about it (Lazarus, 2005). Finally, stress is a general term that links environmental demands and the persons capacity to meet those demands (Kasl, 2004). Stress in this concept refers to the consequences of stressor, as well as to the persons appraisal of the stressor.

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There are two types of stress according to Selye: Distress, or damaging stress, and Eustress, stress that protects health. Eustress is motivating energy, such as happiness, hopefulness, and purposeful movement (Varcarolis, 2002). However the idea of healthy stress has become controversial because it is difficult to tell whether a person has benefited from stress or is coping by denying the stress in some way (Aldwin, 2003). Other types of stress are work stress, family stress, chronic stress, acute stress, daily hassles, trauma, and crisis. In Stimulus-Based Model, stress is defined as a stimulus, a life event, or a set of circumstances that arouses physiologic and/or psychological reactions that may increase the individuals vulnerability to illness. While according to the Response Based Model, Selye (1956-1976) defined stress as the non-specific response of the body to any kind of demand made upon it. Schafer (2006) defined stress as the arousal of mind and body in response to demands made upon it. Miller and Rahe (2002) found that women react to life stress events at higher levels of response than men and that younger subjects rated more events at higher stress level than older subjects. It is unknown whether stress overload merely predisposes a person to illness or actually precipitates it, but there does appear to be a causal link. Individuals differ in their reactions to life events, and these variations are related to the degree to which the change is perceived as stressful. According to Lazarus and Folkman (2007) stress as a relationship between the person and the environment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources and endangering his or her well being. A precipitating event is a stimulus arising from the internal or external environment and is

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perceived by the individual in a specific manner. Determination that a particular person/environment relationship is stressful depends on the individuals cognitive appraisal of the situation. Cognitive appraisal is an individuals evaluation of the personal significance of the event or occurrence. The event precipitates a response on the part of the individual and the response is influenced by the individuals perception of the event. The cognitive response consists of a primary appraisal and secondary appraisal. A variety of elements influence how an individual perceives and response to a stressful event. These predisposing factors strongly influence whether the response is adaptive or maladaptive. Types of predisposing factors include genetic influences, past experiences and existing conditions. Genetic influences are those circumstances of an individuals life that are acquired through heredity. Examples include family history of physical and psychological conditions and temperament. Past experiences are occurrences that result in learned patterns that can influence an individuals adaptation response. They include previous exposure to the stressor or other stressors, learned coping responses and degree of adaptation to previous stressors. Existing conditions incorporate vulnerabilities that influence the adequacy of the individuals physical, psychological and social resources for dealing with adaptive demands. Examples include current health status, motivation, developmental maturity, severity and duration of the stressor, financial and educational resources, age, existing coping strategies and support system of caring others. Acute stress is the reaction to an immediate threat, commonly known as the fight or flight response. The threat can be any situation that is experienced, even subconsciously or falsely, as a danger. Common acute stressors include: Noise,

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Crowding, Isolation, Hunger, Danger, Infection, and Imagining a threat or remembering a dangerous event. It becomes Chronic Stress when modern life poses ongoing stressful situations that are not short lived, and the urge to act (to fight or to flee) must be suppressed. Common chronic stressors include: Ongoing highly pressured work, Longterm relationship problems, Loneliness, and Persistent financial worries. Stress triggers hormones that change the way the body works and feels. These changes are natures way of helping the person cope with perceive threats. However, some cope with stress by behaving in a way that is unhealthy, like drinking, smoking or overeating. This is the reason why it is important to manage stress appropriately in order to avoid the unhealthy effects of inappropriate coping mechanism. Fortunately, stress management is largely a learnable skill. Everybody can learn to effectively handle stress even when pressures persist. It is not possible to live without stress. But one can learn ways to handle stress of daily life efficiently, and to manage reactions to stress and minimize its negative impact. However, it is important to remain attentive to negative stress syndrome and to learn to identify the situation that evoke them. When these symptoms persist, the risk for serious health problems is greater because stress can exhaust the immune system. Recent research demonstrates that 90% of illness is stress related. Coping with stress can be defined as an effort by a person or an organization to manage and overcome demands and critical events that pose a challenge, threat, harm or loss to that person and that persons functioning or to the organization as a whole.Coping is considered as one of the top skills inherent in effective managers.

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Stress is inevitable, but the degree of experienced stress can be modified in two ways: by changing the environment and by changing the individual. This is referred to as stress management. Stress management can refer to a narrow set of individual level interventions or a broader meaning that includes any type of stress intervention. However, for stress management interventions to be successful, they need to target characteristics of the individual worker, the job and the organization. At the individual level, one of the well-documented techniques for reducing stress is through the relaxation response. However, relaxation is a reactive coping strategy as a result of an individuals appraisal of a threat or harm/loss situation such as failing to meet a work goal or conflict with a colleague. Reactive coping strategies do very little if anything to solve the underlying problems; therefore, employees need to learn to use preventive and proactive coping strategies so that the fight-or-flight response is not automatically engaged at the first sign or stress. Presented are some strategies for self management and coping with stress: use high priority goals as guide in making decisions, make your personal health a priority, know your personal response to stress, self-evaluate your responses frequently, use strategies that help you maintain balance and self-control, refocus on your priorities whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed, network with colleagues and members of interdisciplinary team, maintain an attitude of openness to new ideas, avoid over commitment, manage time effectively, recognize your own limitations, and affirm selfesteem and accomplishments.

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Stress management involves the use of coping strategies in response to stressful situations. Coping strategies are adaptive when they protect the individual from harm or strengthen the individuals ability to meet challenging situations. Adaptive responses help restore homeostasis to the body and impede the development of diseases of adaptation. Coping strategies are considered maladaptive when the conflict being experienced goes unresolved or intensifies. Energy resources become depleted as the body struggles to compensate for the chronic physiological and psychological arousal being experienced. The effect is a significant vulnerability to physical or psychological illness. Adaptive coping strategies include awareness, relaxation, meditation, interpersonal communication with a caring other, problem solving, pets and music. Awareness is the initial step in managing stress, wherein the individual becomes aware of the factors that create stress and the feelings associated with a stressful response. Stress can be controlled only when one recognizes that it is being experienced. As one becomes aware of the stressors, he or she can omit, avoid or accept them. Individuals experience relaxation in different ways. Some individuals relax by engaging in large-motor activities such as sports, jogging and physical exercise. Still others use techniques such as breathing exercises and progressive relaxation to relieve stress. Related Studies Virk et al., (2001) conducted a study on occupational stress and work motivation in relation to age, job level and type-A behavior. They reported that age and job level can have strong influence on job stress.

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Bhatia and Kumar (2005) studied on occupational stress and burn out in industrial employees. The sample consisted of 100 employees belonging to supervisor and below supervisor level. Their chronological age ranged from 22-32 years and 33-42 years. Among the industrial employees at supervisor and below supervisor rank belonging to higher age group experienced more occupational stress. Soliman (2006) proved the idea that those college students who are likely to reflect negative effects in their academic performance when encountering a stressful event. Differences in perceived problem by year level, sex and mental ability were determined as well as the relationship existing between them. There was a study conducted by (European Agency for Safety Health at Work, 2005), stated that stress was most often reported by workers in the 40-54 age group (24%), followed by the 25-39 age group (23%). A lower percentage of workers older than 55 (18%) or younger than 24 (13%) believed that their health was at risk because of work-related stress. Similar trends were observed for other stress-related symptoms such as fatigue, sleeping problems, anxiety and irritability. Shultz (2003) further concluded on his study that while stress affects everyone differently, age as a specific factor, does not affect the level of stress exhibited by an individual during an evaluation. According to Trabaho Philippines Blog (2008), stress is common to a workplace, when you have been doing routine work ever since you came to your company. It is unavoidable to feel this since every day, pressure builds up for most people. According to a national survey carried out between 1998 and 1999, nearly half of (46%) of German employees complained of increasing stress at work. However, although

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there is mounting evidence of this problem, practical solutions for tackling it remain relatively undeveloped and are applied in a piecemeal manner (European Agency, 2002). Stress, particularly work-related stress, has aroused growing interest across Europe in recent years. The workplace has changed dramatically due to globalization of the economy, use of new information and communication technology, growing diversity in the workplace (e.g. more women, older and higher educated people, as well as increased migration, particularly between the EU Member States), and an increased mental workload (Kompier, 2002). According to Tomey (2004), stress is a part of every students daily life. Leaving home or community daily managing, finances, living with roommates, and juggling work, classes, and relationships all contribute to the normal stress of being a student. In addition, it is not uncommon for students to feel stressed and anxious about wasting time, meeting high standards, or being lonely. (European Foundation, 2001) also conducted a study that work-related stress, its causes and consequences are all very common in the 15 European Union Member States. More than half of the 160 million workers report working very quickly (56%), and to tight deadlines (60%). More than one third have no influences on task order; 40% percent have report having monotonous tasks. McLeod (2008) looks specifically at stress in the form of task overload (e.g., asking an individual to perform more than one task under a time constraint) and finds that the addition of multiple required tasks reduces the quality of individual performance and increases the magnitude of the performance decrement as compared with the case in which the individual has only one task to perform.

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Stress can also contribute to performance decrements by slowing cognition and individual information processing. For example, Idzikowski and Baddeley (2007) find that the time to complete a given task doubled with the introduction of an external stressor. The financial burden of college tuition is significant and rising. In light of the increasing price of college, many families are facing significant challenges in financing their children's education. The evidence shows that tuition, students are working as one response to the financial burden of college more while in college. Over 60 percent of college students report that their parents now expect them to work during the school year to help cover expenses. More students are working, and more are working longer hours (Orszag, 2001). Dela Cruz (2005) states that physical stress is one of the factors that may cause stress. Ranking the highest is the illness and the other are the nutrition, trauma, discomfort and sleep disturbance that contribute for them to experience stress physically to a high degree. Flores (2000) said that a person who is stressed typically less anxious thoughts and difficulty concentrating or remembering. Stress can also change outward behaviors. Teeth clenching, hand wringing, pacing, nail biting, and heavy breathing are common signs of stress. Butterflies in the stomach, cold hands and feet, dry mouth, and increased heart rate are all physiological effects of stress that we associate with the emotion of anxiety.

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According to (Murad, 2009) there was a study which confirmed that people with acne may experience even more breakouts during test time. Changes in acne severity correlate highly with increasing stress, suggesting that emotional stress from external sources does have an influence on acne. Tan (2006) clarified that theres also a tendency to dismiss stress-related illnesses as psychological, and that these are self-limiting, easily resolved. The fact is that stress can so overwhelm people that they lapse into depression, resorting to destructive behavior, directed toward the self, or toward others. Larsen (2001) looks at the effects of sleep deprivation on individual perception, judgment, and decision making. He considers a sample of sleep-deprived Norwegian military personnel enrolled in a combat training course. After five days with little or no sleep, these individuals were asked to conduct a simulated night time village raid. Bowers et al., (2006) argue that group-level stressors can involve any influence of the group on the individual that leads to increased tension or decreased functioning, for example, competition among members or crowding. Group decision making processes can be affected by the presence of stressors. Driskell, et al., (2008) find that when subjected to stressful conditions, individuals are more likely to yield control to their partners or superiors. As a result, authority tends to become more concentrated and hierarchy more pronounced. In addition, communication within the group may suffer as a result of perceptual narrowing. Cannon-Bowers and Salas (2002) hypothesize that the stimuli lost through perceptual narrowing are those most important to group communication and

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effectiveness. As a result, the group-level effects of stress may be even more significant than those at the individual level. Stress can also lead to what Janis (2007) call groupthink, in which members of the group may ignore important cues, force all members to conform or adhere to the consensus opinion, and even rationalize poor decisions. Zivnuska, et al., (2002) find that moderate levels of stress tend to be correlated with higher levels of job satisfaction than either very high or very low stress levels. The authors explain this effect by noting that moderate stress is perceived as stimulating and challenging, without being unbearable. However, while exposure to some level of stressor may help individual performance, the long-term effects of stress on the individual tend to be negative, according to the majority of research looking at prolonged exposure to stress. One potential result of an extended exposure to a single or to multiple stressors is burnout, defined by Maslach et al., (2001) to include exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment, a sense of ineffectiveness, and lack of accomplishment. Work by Lee and Ashforth (2009) supports the argument that high and consistent exposure to stress can lead to burnout. They find that psychological strain and burnout have a correlation of 0.94 and that physiological strain and burnout have a correlation of 0.56. Although this does not imply a causal relationship, it does support the argument that individual stress levels are strongly related to burnout. Long-term exposure to stressors can also have other negative effects. For example, Cropanzano et al., (2003) find that long term exposure to high levels of

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stressors can lead to emotional exhaustion, which has been shown to degrade organizational commitment and increase turnover intentions. According to Seymour and Black (2002), chronic stress can also lead to physical problems, including cardiovascular disease, muscle pain, stomach and intestinal problems, decreased fertility, and reduced immune system strength. Long-term stress can also lead to feelings of anger, anxiety, fatigue, depression, and sleep problems. Stress consists of a pattern stone-age reactions preparing the human organism for fight or flight, i.e., for physical activity. Stress was adequate when a stone-age man was facing a wolf pack, but not so when todays worker is struggling to adjust to rotating shifts, highly monotonous or fragmented tasks or threatening or over-demanding customers. It is often maladaptive and disease provoking (Levi, 2001). Stress response of the body is originally meant to protect and support us in our day-to-day activities. This response made our ancestors fight and flee from danger, and survive this present stage (Hernandez, 2008). Reyes (2011) said, We are touring the Sleep Away Your Stress campaign to different universities and colleges in Metro Manila to promote good quality sleep among students. We are also finalizing the campaign schedule for the second quarter of 2011, hopefully, to tour the campaign different companies, including BPOs and call centers around the country. Banzuela (2011), a board preparatory mentor and Sleepasils guest expert-lecturer on stress management, said during the talk that, people may never be free of stress, but the keys to coping with it are awareness, acceptance and management.

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(Stowell et al., 2001) also found out that situations of higher stress brought about more active coping mechanisms in people, such as problem-focused coping. Lower stress situations were found to be significantly associated with avoidance coping mechanisms, a passive coping skill. Its relevance is that, stress is related to active coping and low stress is associated with passive coping. A counselor, a psychologist, or a human resource manager can facilitate the understanding by an individual of himself and the stress situation in which that person feels most comfortable. When an employee or an executive feels his muscle tightening or has sleep disturbance, these are the symptoms that the employee or executive has gone beyond his manageable and comfortable level of stress (Macapagal, 2007). Shaham et al., (2003) suggests that individuals are more likely to use heuristics (rules of thumb or guidelines based on past experience that are used to help in decision making) when they are faced with external stressors. They compare the heuristic use of two groups of people on a survey, one that was asked to first complete an analytical test while being subjected to loud noises and a second that did not complete the stressexposure test. Klein (2004) also finds that when confronted with external stressors, individuals are more likely to use heuristics and other simplified decision making strategies. However, rather than reducing the quality of individual decisions, as suggested by those researchers who argue for perceptual narrowing, Klein suggests that the use of heuristics may allow individuals to respond more quickly to external demands and can also help them make effective judgments under some kinds of stressors or with only partial information.

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Synthesis of the Art The review of related literature revealed that the person is an open, adaptive system who uses various coping mechanisms to deal with stressors brought by different conditions and circumstances in the environment. A persons ability to cope with stress is not constant like any equation or theory that could be true to all but as a person in contact with the environment he undergoes through changes and adapts to be able to address the call of the times. Different authors, sources and studies have varied outcome conclusions regarding the stress experienced by nursing students especially the graduating classes. This chapter provided the study with the most related amongst all other studies and literature both of local and foreign origin. According to Dewitt college lifel is an exciting, challenging adventure that will demand much of nursing students in terms of time and energy, wherein the students experiences inevitable stress. To prove that assumption, Dewitt stated that becoming a working student increases stress level because of the complexity of the information to be learned and applied, and because of new constraints on time. According to a study made by Vidana et al, most of the working students who experience a working duty with quizzes and individual conference are sleeping during duty breaks, had lacked interest in class discussions, had decreased concentration and difficulty in the retention of the lectures. To prevent these it is advisable for the students to apply stress management techniques in their daily routine.

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Awareness is the initial step in managing stress. When an individual becomes fully aware that the stimulus around him is becoming insanely difficult to handle is where a person begins to cope and make ways to manage the stress that they are feeling. There are lots of means to cope with and minimize stress and often times it is unique to the individual. Although it has been deduced that coping mechanisms can be classified into the adaptive and maladaptive the goal of the study is to identify whether the students are able to manage their stress.

Gap to be Bridged by the Study A careful review of the different studies conducted revealed that although there were other studies related and similar to aspects of this not all dwelled on the totality of all the responsibilities of student assistants. Some studies dwelled on the stresses in the working area while others only on the academic aspect. This study is unique in its own way for apart from conducting it with the student assistants of Aquinas University of Legazpi it also sought to assess the overall performance of the students in relation to their stress. Apart from that is the fact that the researchers have included the financial aspect and enhancement reviews to their scope of study. Given all this new objectives into a substantial study these are the aspects in which this study seeks to bridge in with other previous studies.

Conceptual Framework It is conceptualized that the study of the stressors encountered by the students assistants of Aquinas University. To further support the concepts within the study this

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present undertaking will be anchored on the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping with the understanding that this framework has been used for evaluating the processes of coping with stressful events. Stressful experiences are construed as person-environment transactions. These transactions depend on the impact of the external stressor. Given the problems that the present study seeks to find with the aid of the framework the researchers will gain an insight of the external stressors in the form of the deduction of the causes of stress experienced by the student assistants in terms of varied areas of educational concern. This then shall lead to the discovery of the coping mechanisms which shall then be highlighted upon the students response to the data gathering tool to be employed. When faced with a stressor, a person evaluates the potential threat. The Primary appraisal is a persons judgment about the significance of an event as stressful, positive, controllable, challenging or irrelevant. Facing a stressor, the second appraisal follows, which is an assessment of peoples coping resources and options. Secondary appraisals address what one can do about the situation. Actual coping efforts aimed at regulation of the problem give rise to outcomes of the coping process. Likewise the interrelation of the demographic profile, the causes of stress, the coping mechanisms and the effects of stress in the over-all academic performance of the students assistants shall lead to the eventual recommendation of stress management and appropriate coping mechanisms to be employed for the benefit of nursing students who will soon be stepping in the final juncture of the educational ladder.

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Definition of Terms To facilitate easier understanding the following terms used within the study are defined operationally and conceptually: Academic. All activities done by students with relation to education, their curriculum and all of which that lead to the students to gain grades and ratings as measure of performance. Stressors. Any factor that disturbs homeostasis producing stress. In animals there is a long list including nutritional, lactational and pregnancy stress, physical stressors including inclement climate, hard physical work such as endurance rides, racing, capture of wild animals, psychological including weaning, overcrowding, boredom, harassment by humans or other animals, absence of bedding or protection from drafts and poor ventilation. Coping Mechanism. These are the sum total of ways in which we deal with minor to major stress and trauma. Some of these processes are unconscious ones, others are learned behavior, and still others are skills we consciously master in order to reduce stress, or other intense emotions like depression. Financial Status. This refers to the ability of the student and their family to cover all expenses related to education. Regular Classes. This are classes done in the school to discuss nursing concepts and this are in the form of classroom lectures. Extracurricular Activities. These are activities which are not academic in origin but still have something to do with the college. This could be becoming a college officer, being a member of the school choir or a dance troupe or simply being involved with varied

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school organizations such as Philippine Nursing Students Association, Red Cross Youth Council and the likes. Student Assistants. A student employee of a particular university who is trained to perform a number of specific functions depending on what specific area of the school he/she is assigned to whether its in the library, biology/chemistry laboratory, finance office, and college offices.

STRESSORS ENCOUNTERED BY THE STUDENTS ASSISTANTS IN AQUINAS UNIVERSITY OF LEGAZPI

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TRANSACTIONAL MODEL OF STRESS AND COPING BY GEORGE VALLIANT


Demographic profile of the student assistant as to: A. Age B. Area of Assignment Stressors encountered by the respondents in terms of: A. Academic Requirements B. Job Description

Coping mechanisms utilized by the student assistants to minimize stressors related to academic requirements and work performance

Measures that can be offer to maintain good academic and effective work performance

Recommendations that impart student assistants to their co-student assistants and new student assistants who will be in the same level of stress they are experiencing

Figure 1. Conceptual Framework Model

Chapter III METHODOLOGY

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This chapter is a presentation of the research design and methodology. It shall include the population and sampling, the instrumentation, data gathering procedures and statistical treatment with this present undertaking will utilize.

Population and Sample The population of this research will be the student assistant enrolled for the academic year 2011-2012 in Aquinas University of Legazpi. The included respondents will be in total enumeration.

Research Instrument The questionnaire will be the main data gathering tool for this study. It shall focus on the profile of the student assistant and shall include questions which shall lead to the objective of the study. The first part of the questionnaire will include the Respondents Information and shall serve as the basis for the demographic profile. The second part of the questionnaire will be in a type of checklist in which the student respondents will mark the ones that are applicable to them. This part shall aid the researcher in answering the second problem which is to identify the causes of the stress of the students. The third part of the questionnaire will focus on the coping mechanisms used by the students to resolve the stress they have experienced. The fourth part of the questionnaire will include the assessment of whether the stress has enhanced or caused decline to the over-all academic performance of the students. Meanwhile the last part will be in a form of essay type statements in which the tool shall employ the need for recommendations on how to manage and alleviate the stress as a means of advice to the other student assistant.

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Validation of Research Instrument To test the validity of the research instrument which is in a form of a questionnaire, the researcher will conduct a pre-testing of questionnaires to a total of 10 students from varied sections or blocks. The participants will be asked to give their comments and suggestions regarding the contents of the modified questionnaires, which will be included in the revisions. During the pre-testing, the researchers will explain the purpose of the study and the mechanics in answering the questionnaires. The researcher will be available during the pre-testing to answer the respondents clarification and will ensure that all questions are understood.

Data gathering Procedures Before the actual data collection, the researchers will obtain the permission of the Dean of College of Nursing through a letter to conduct the study in the school. Once the researcher received the approval, a letter to the Registrar will be given to request for the total number of enrolled student assistants. Once the population has been gathered, the researcher will send a letter to the person supervising the student assistants to get an overall schedule of the student assistant as basis for the scheduling for answering of the questionnaires. Upon approval and schedule of the distribution of research instruments the researcher will then conduct a pre-testing which will still be subject for evaluation and revision. Data gathering will be done from July-August 2012. This will be done through the coordination of the supervisor of each section during their free time.

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The total number of questionnaires which will be distributed are equal to the number of student assistants and all will be returned back immediately to the researcher. Moreover, the researcher will be the one distributing and collecting the questionnaires from each section. The researcher will ensure anonymity and confidentiality to the respondents by only asking their initials. A letter is attached to the questionnaires ensuring that all data gathered will stay only in the group and purely for the purpose of the study.

Statistical Tools The data in this research will be statistically treated using the frequency percentage. The following statistical tools will be used for proper interpretation and analysis of the data gathered: Descriptive statistics, particularly the mean, median and mode are the prime statistical methods used to verify the data gathered. Variability of the gathered data will also be taken into consideration seeing as its reliability and congruency is vital to make this study feasible. The numerical results will be analyzed and interpreted in the descriptive name provided. Ranking will be used to determine the most common factors and causes of stress for the student assistant. Ranking refers to the data transformation in which numerical or ordinal values are replaced by their rank when the data are sorted. For example, the numerical data 3.4, 5.1 2.6

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Shaham, Y., J. Singer, and M. Schaeffer, Stability/Instability of Cognitive Strategies Across Tasks Determine Whether Stress Will Affect Judgmental Processes, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 22, No. 9, 2003, pp. 691-713. Seymour, D. J., and K. Black, Stress in Primary Care Patients, inF. V. DeGruy III et al., eds., 20 Common Problems in Behavioral Health, New York: McGrawHill, 2002, pp. 65-87. Zivnuska, S., C. Kiewitz, and W. Hochwarter, What Is Too Much or Too Little? The Curvilinear Effects of Job Tension on Turnover Intent, Value Attainment, and Job Satisfaction, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 32, No. 7, July 2002, pp. 1334-1360.