The Impact of Academic Stress on Students' Performance

The Impact of Academic Stress on Students' Performance

Corina Iurea (Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania) and Cristina Georgiana Safta (Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2960-6.ch008
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Studies conducted in recent years throughout the world have shown that people are growingly more exposed to stress, its level increasing dramatically over time. Thus, stress has been identified as one of the major scourges of our modern era. It seems that not only adults but also children are affected; pupils and students are also experiencing stressful life situations that can be harmful to their overall condition and health. The transition from pre-academic to academic education, the need to adapt to independent living, to gain insight into new social networks, to comply with high academic requirements constitute potential stressors that may affect the performance of students. Considering all these issues a comprehensive assessment of stress is required, from the perspective of the authors in the field, from analyzing the views of students in the research group and from formulating a personal opinion which can support the effort to reduce stress using coping strategies so that the academic environment to become a pleasant place for students.
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The Concept Of Stress

Stress affects everyone, to a greater or lesser extent. It is an essential and necessary part of our lives; it is the result of the interaction between us and environment.

Stress has been approached and defined as a stimulus, a reaction and a process. Seen as a stimulus, stress focuses on the factors that may affect the natural balance of a person. As a reaction, it offers the individual an explanation for their nervousness, for one’s state when faced with a new situation. As a transaction, stress is a model of the exchange between an individual’s resources and environment’s requirements. It should be noted that different persons may present different reactions to the same type of stress. A stimulus may be negative or positive, according to an individual’s perception, their previous experiences and the prediction they are able to make regarding the effects of the stress source.

Stress may have multiple effects on a person. The effects of stress may develop across various levels: physiological, psychological and behavioral. The exhaustion of the necessary resources to cope with the various challenges may affect the health of the individual. A level of stress which is either too high or too low influences the performance of an individual in their activity. In case there is no strategy adapted to the purpose of reducing stress, its effects may increase, causing real perturbation of day to day activities.

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