Academic Stress in relation to Personality, Locale
Lalita Sahu1,*, Dr.
1,2 School of Studies in Psychology,
Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur, C. G. (India)
[Received: 08 July 2020; Accepted: 18 September
2020; Published Online: 12 February 2021]
Abstract: School education is very important part
in an individual’s life and is also a turning point in their academic life.
Stress is a common factor among school students. Academic stress involves
mental distress regarding anticipated academic challenges or failure or even
the fear of the possibility of academic failure. A student’s life is subjected
to different kinds of stressors such as the pressure of academics with a
requirement of success, uncertain future and difficulties predict for
integration into the system. In the present scenario academic stress is major
factor that influence the students’ performance as well as their personality.
The study investigated academic stress in relation to personality, locale and
gender among higher secondary school students. A total of four hundred male and
female students participated in this study from Baster district of
Chhattisgarh. The sample was selected by using stratified random sampling
technique. To assess the personality of the subjects, Eysenck’s Maudsley Personality
Inventory (MPI) and Academic Stress Scale for Students was used. Obtained data
were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test, and regression analysis.
The results show significant difference between academic stress and gender,
academic stress and locale, personality and locale of students. No gender
difference was found between the personality of male and female students.
Results also indicated that boys experienced more academic stress as compared
to girls. Similarly, non-tribal students experienced higher level of academic
stress as compared to tribal students. The result of regression analysis showed
that personality emerged out as a significant predictor of students’ academic
stress explaining about 30.5% variation.
Stress, Extraversion, Neuroticism, Locale, Gender
is a word derived from the Latin word stringier, meaning to draw tight,
and was used in the seventeenth century to demonstrate hardship and trouble.
Stress in any situation that evokes negative thoughts and feelings in a person.
The same situation is not stressful for each person and all people do not face
the same negative thoughts and feelings. Stress is the body’s effect to a
variation that demands a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or reaction.
Lots of stress has main reason lot of irritation and its forced reach’s our
goal. Wilks (2008) defined academic stress as the product of a combination of
academic related demands that exceed the adaptive resources available to an
individual, if they are not well managed (Smith, 2000; Stevenson & Harper,
2006). Academic pressure is a significant cause of stress for many students
(Hashim, 2003). Students experience psychological and physical effect to
stressors when they perceive excessive or negative stress. Severe stress
produces physical compromises and it is not unusual to find students trouble
with even loss of appetite, headaches, lack of energy, gastrointestinal
problems (Mori, 2000). Heightened academic stress in the final years of
schooling is a common concern, yet little is known about how stress changes
over time and what individual, school and family factors are associated with
distress (Wuthrich, Jagiello & Azzi, 2020).
Agolla, (2009), Agolla and Ongori (2009) Awino
and Agolla, (2008) carried out research on academic stress and concluded that
academic stress exists from the change in a student’s thoughts and their daily
life. It is caused by the various problems such as much homework, academic
workload, inadequate resources, low motivation, continuous poor performance in
academics, financial problems, poor relationship with friend and family,
overcrowded lecture halls and uncertainty of getting admissions in good
colleges after completing schooling, lead to stress among students.
Erkutlu and Chafra, (2006)
Kadaptti and Khadi (2006) found
that high aspiration, poor study habit, more study problems, change in medium
of instructions, problems in their surroundings and low socio-economic
conditions were the factors of academic stress makes academic environment very
stressful. This is likely to affect the social relations both within the
institution and outside which affects the individual person’s life in terms of
commitment to achieving the goals. Fairborther and Warn (2003) identified
academic stress among students such as too many assignments, competitions with
other students, failures and poor relationship with other students or
comprises the behaviour patterns, a person shows across the psychological
characteristics or situations that lead to those behavior patterns. It has been
observed that levels of academic stress among students vary according to their
personality traits. Personality traits have a significant role in student’s
life to handle academic related issues which may lead to decline in the
academic performance. Academic stress in students may be associated with poor
academic performance. The excessive stress can lead to physical and mental
health problems reduce self-esteem, and affect their academic performance and
personal development. Several studies have examined the relationship between
personality type and stress. Personality traits may influence a person’s
perception of or reaction to stressful situations.
and Narimani (2010) investigated the relationship between personality traits,
academic stress and academic performance of students. Results indicated
significant positive correlation between conscientiousness, extroversion and
openness to experience, agreeableness and academic performance and negative
correlation with neuroticism and academic performance. Significant negative
correlation was found between academic stress and academic performance.
Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that personality traits accounted for
variance in academic stress 5% by extroversion and 3% by neuroticism.
Personality traits and academic stress accounted for variance in academic
performance, 12% by conscientiousness, 10% neuroticism and 6% academic stress.
Granger, and Annalakshmi and Jayanthy (2018) and Hogstrom (2013) studied the work load, perceived stress, and
personality traits in natural science majors compared to social science and
humanities majors in students. No significant difference found between
personality traits and different majors. Stress was correlated positively with
neuroticism, but not with any other personality traits. Bob, Popescu, Pirlog,
Buzoianu (2014) studied personality traits and academic stress among a group of
267 first year medical students. Results found that top stressors were exams,
falling behind in learning schedule, heavy workload, lack of time to review
what have been learnt and large amount of content to be learnt. Academic stress
was predicted by trait anxiety, neuroticism, parental expectation (Subramani
& Venkatachalam, 2019) and health related factors (Afreen, Priya, &
Gayathri, 2018). Hystad, Eid, Laberg and Johsen (2009) explore the capacity of
hardiness personality to buffer the relationship between academic stress and
health. Results showed that hardiness was negatively correlated with academic
stress and number of health complaints and moderately with academic stress and
health (Oktavia, & Mujidin, 2019).
Shokri et al. (2007) investigated the
relationship between personality traits, academic stress and academic
performance in students. Results revealed significant positive correlation
between neuroticism and academic stress. Significant negative correlation was
found between extroversion and conscientiousness and academic stress. Rentala,
Nayak, Patil and Aladakatti (2019) examined
educational stress and their predictors among adolescent girls. Results
showed that number of siblings and personality negatively predicted stress and
considered as protective factors. Results also found that introvert
neuroticism, Hindu religion, illiterate father, and commerce combination of
subjects positively predicted stress among adolescent girls and considered as
explores relationship between gender and academic performance and academic
stress. Results showed no significant
differences in level of academic stress and gender. No gender difference
was also found in the study conducted by Fromel, Safar, Jakubec, Groffik and
Zatkal (2020) and Singh and Singh (2014).
Lerma, Vela and Watson (2019) investigated the factors predictive of students’
academic stress. Results indicated that female students had higher academic
stress than male students. Bivariate correlation and multiple regression
analyses revealed that life satisfaction, locus of control, and gender were
significant predictors of academic stress. Similar findings were also found
that females have higher level of academic stress than males by Busari (2012),
Busari, and Adewuyi (2018), Kadapatti
(2017), Kiani, Latif, Bibi, Rashid and Tariq (2017), Uma and Manikandan
and Garg (2017) found that urban student's academic stress was more than rural
student. The government school students’ academic stress is less than private
school students. Results found that the boys academic stress was higher than
girls. studied the prevalence of academic stress among students. Kaur and Puar
(2017) examined the relationship between mental health and academic stress of
senior secondary school students. Results found that a significant difference
between urban and rural senior secondary school students on the basis of their
academic stress and mental health.
Academic stress is the apparent problem
of a student. Students face various academic problems including exam stress,
inability to understand the subjects, change in sleeping habits and eating
habits. High stress levels among students can result in a diminished
performance in the accomplishments and can affect both the physical and mental
health of students. Certain personality traits make the students more
vulnerable to handle the stress. High level of stress has a negative impact on
personality. Hence, the present study aims to find out the relationship among
personality, locale and gender on academic stress.
The problem undertaken in the
present study is stated as, “Academic Stress in relation to Personality, Locale and Gender”.
of the Study
The present study aims at accomplishing the
To see the relationship
of personality, locale and gender with academic stress.
To investigate the
predictors of academic stress
order to fulfill the above objectives various hypotheses were formulated as
There would be no significant difference between boys and girls on academic
stress and personality traits.
H2- There would be no significant
difference between tribal and non-tribal students’ academic stress and personality.
There would be no significant impact of personality (neuroticism and
extraversion dimension) on academic stress of higher secondary students.
The study investigated academic stress in relation
to personality, locale and gender among higher secondary school students. A
total of four hundred male and female students participated in this study from
Baster district of Chhattisgarh, out of which 200 participants were Tribal
students and the remaining 200 participants were Non-Tribal students. The
sample was selected by using stratified random sampling technique. Data were
collected through self-administered questionnaire. The age range of the was 16 to 18 years, the mean age being 17 years.
Predictor variables of the study were personality, locale and gender and the
criterion variable of the study was academic stress. In this study co-relational research design was used, and data
obtained was statistically analyzed using SPSS (16th version).
Personality: Eysenck’s Maudsley Personality Inventory
(M.P.I.) developed by Jalota and Kapoor (1975) was used to measure the
personality of the subjects. Total 48 items are distributed among the two
personality dimensions neuroticism and extroversion.
Stress: Academic stress scale for
students was used to assess the academic stress of the students. Academic
stress scale consists of 50 items based on five-point Likert scale. Both the
scale covers all psychometric property.
data was collected by administering the inventory in a small group of the
participants. The respondents were instructed to complete the inventory by
giving a response to every item of inventory. Informed consent was taken and
all the respondents were assured that the data would be kept confidential.
After completion of the test, the participants were acknowledged for their
cooperation. Analysis and
interpretation of the collected data were performed in accordance with the
objectives of the study.
Computed statistics for the comparison of academic
stress and personality traits (neuroticism and extroversion) of male and female
students are shown in Table 1.
1 Mean and Standard Deviation of Academic Stress, Personality traits
(Extroversion & Neuroticism) of Males and Females along with t-ratios
* p < .01
Average Academic Stress scores, on the basis of Personality traits
(Extroversion & Neuroticism) and Gender (Male and Female)
1 shows the mean, standard deviation of academic stress, personality traits and
genders. Average academic stress scores of male and female subjects are 142.84
and 129.83 respectively. Average extroversion personality scores of male and
female subjects are 28.62 and 28.50. Whereas the average neuroticism
personality scores of male subjects are 22.03 and a standard deviation of 9.42
and for female subject is 22.65 and a standard deviation of 8.07 respectively.
The average academic stress scores, personality traits (extroversion &
neuroticism) and gender are shown in Figure-1.
is depicted from Table 1 that the calculated t-value (4.516 df= 398) was
significant at .01 level. It means male and female students have different
level of academic stress. The mean scores of males (142.84) was higher than
female (129.83) (Table 1). It was found that boys have more academic stress in
their academic work than girls. So, the null hypothesis, that “there is no
significant difference between the academic stress and gender” stands rejected.
This research revealed that a significant difference was found between gender
and academic stress. This result confirms the findings of other investigators
(e.g., Meenakshi 2017, Menage & Chandrasekeran, 2014, Narasimhan, 2018). The
study found that academic stress level has been higher in male students than
female students. Male students have high-level of academic stress appropriate
to the actuality that parents want their son to be more capable of managing
their business and property, social and house responsibility, family members
have more hope from the males to do extremely well in life as compared to
female. Male students pay more attention to hang out with peers and roam
meaninglessly instead of focusing on their studies, and because of that, they
have insufficient knowledge of their subjects and hence they have to study more
courses in less time, which makes them disinterested in their subjects as
compared to female students, which is main cause of higher level of academic stress
in male students. In some studies, no gender difference was found for example,
Akeela, and Ashok, (2018), Deb, Strodl and Sun (2015), Dixit and Garg (2017),
Dixit and Singh (2015).
other objective of the present study was to see the difference between boys and
girls on personality. The observed t- value .206 and .707 was not significant.
The insignificant t-value indicates that neuroticism and extroversion
dimensions of personality of male and female students do not differ
significantly in their academic stress, rather they show almost equal degree of
academic stress. So, the hypothesis, that “there would be no significant
difference between boys and girls on personality was accepted”. The result
indicated that male and female students have similar level of neuroticism and
extroversions personality. In other words, it can be said that there is
insignificant difference between personality (neuroticism and extroversion) and
gender. This finding was in agreement with the study conducted by Velayudhan, Sivan,
Jayan and Raghuram (2016). Another objective of the present study was to see
the role of locale on personality traits and academic stress. The hypothesis
that there would be no significant difference between the two locales on
academic stress and personality traits. The average academic stress scores and
personality traits among tribal and non-tribal students is shown in Table2 and
2. Mean and Standard Deviation of Academic Stress, Personality traits
(Extroversion & Neuroticism) and Locale (Tribal & Non-Tribal) along
p < .005, **
p < .001
2: Average Academic Stress scores, on
the basis of Personality traits (Extroversion & Neuroticism) and Locale
(Tribal & Non-Tribal)
is depicted from table 2 that the calculated value of ‘t’ = 4.164, was
significant. It shows that there was significant difference between tribal and
non-tribal (locale) students. The average academic stress score of non-tribal
students (M = 142.36) is higher than their tribal counterparts (M = 130.32).
The hypothesis that, “there would be no significant difference between two
locales on academic stress was rejected. Similar findings were reported in the
works of Dixit and Garg (2017), Kadapatti (2017), Kaur and Puar (2017) Prabu
(2015) and Sathiya and Malathi (2018).
next variable undertaken in the present study is extraversion personality
trait. The average extraversion personality trait score of tribal and
non-tribal students are (M = 30.34 and M = 26.78). The calculated ‘t’ value was
found significant at .01 level (t = 6.713). Similarly, the average introversion
personality trait score of tribal and non-tribal students are (M= 21.11 and M=
23.57) respectively. The calculated ‘t’ value was found to be significant at
.05 level (t = 2.831). The hypothesis that, “there would be no significant
difference between two locale groups and personality traits (extraversion &
introversion) was rejected. Similar findings were reported in the works of
Mahalakshmi, Kalaivani and Pugalenthi (2015) and Nechita, Alexandru, StioLica
and Nechita, (2015).
3 Multiple Regression Analysis showing the joint contribution to Independent
Variables to Academic Stress
R = .552,
R 2 = .305, F =
(2, 397 ) = 87.108, p < .01
result from table 3 revealed significant joint contribution of the independent
variables (extraversion and neuroticism personality traits) to the outcome
variable i.e., academic stress. This implies that higher secondary school
students’ academic stress correlated positively with the neuroticism
personality trait and negatively with the extraversion personality trait. The
result yielded a coefficient of multiple regression R= .443 and R square is
.305. This suggests that the independent variables accounted for 30.5%
(Adjusted R2 = .305) variance in the prediction of academic stress. The
significance of the composite contribution was tested at p < .05 using the
F-ratio (F = 87.108) at the degree of freedom df = 2/397. Table 3 shows that
independent variables (extraversion and neuroticism personality traits) made a
significant contribution to the prediction of academic stress of higher
secondary school students. In terms of magnitude of contribution, neuroticism
personality trait made the most significant contribution (Beta = .349, t =
8.034, p < 0.01) to the prediction of academic stress followed by the
extraversion personality trait (Beta = -.343, t = - 7.877, p < 0.01) to the
prediction of academic stress.
result revealed that academic stress among higher secondary school students was
significantly correlated with neuroticism and extraversion personality traits.
The correlation between neuroticism personality trait and academic stress is
positive, and the correlation between extraversion personality traits and
academic stress is negative. This finding is consistent with the findings of
various other researchers, for example, Ahadi and Narimani (2010), Allred,
Granger and Hogstorm (2013), Bob Popescu, Pirlog and Buzoianu (2014) Shokri et
al. (2007). The findings of the study revealed that personality traits, viz.,
extraversion and neuroticism emerged out to be the significant predictors of
is concluded that male students experience more academic stress than girls.
Academic stress of non-tribal students is higher than tribal students. The
results of regression analysis showed that personality traits emerged out as
the significant predictor of academic stress of higher secondary school
students. Academic stress is pervasive among students, it decreases the
academic performance of the students. These findings should be taken into
consideration that an attempt should be made to create stress free environment
in the school level.
Afreen, M. M., Priya, V. V. & Gayathri, R.
(2018). Effect of stress on academic performance of students in different
streams. Drug Invention Today, 10 (9), 1776-1780.
Agolla, J. E. (2009). Occupational Stress among Police Officers.
The case of Botswana Police service.
Research Journal of Business
Management, 2 (1), 25-35.
Agolla, J. E. & Ongori, H. (2009). An
assessment of academic stress among undergraduate students: The case of
University of Botswana. Educational
Research and Reviews, 4 (2), 63-70.
B. & Narimani, M. (2010). Study of relationship between personality traits
and education. Trakia Journal of
Sciences, 8(3), 53-60.
Akeela, P. & Ashok, H. S. (2018). A comparative
study on academic stress among and private higher secondary students. Journal
of Advances and Scholarly Researches in
Allied Education, 14(2), 53-56.
Allred, A., Granger, M. & Hogstrom, T. (2013).
The relationship between academic major, personality type and stress in college
students. Eukaryon, 9, 1-4.
N. & Jayanthy, A. (2018). The outcome of stress in learning Environment. International
Journal of Informative and Futuristic Research, 5(12), 9433-9437.
Awino, J.O. & Agolla,
J. E. (2008). A quest for sustainable
quality assurance measurement for universities: case of study of the University
of Botswana. Educational
Research Review 3 (6), 213-218.
H., Popescu, C. A., Pirlog, R. & Buzoianu, A.D. (2014). Personality factors associated with
academic stress in first year medical students. Human & Veterinary
Medicine, International Journal of the Bioflux Society, 6 (1), 40-44.
Busari, A. O. (2012). Identifying difference in
perceptions of academic stress and reaction to stressors based on gender among
first year university students. International
Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2 (14), 138-146.
Busari, A. O. &
Omoponle, A. H. (2018). Psycho-environmental
predictors of academic among female adolescents in Oyo State Schools of
Nursing. Open Science Journal of Psychology, 5(1), 1-8. http://www.openscienceonline.com/journal/osjp
Carveth, J. A., Gesse, T.
& Moss, N. (1996). Survival
strategies for nurse-midwifery students. Journal of Nurse Midwifery, 41 (1), 50-54.
S., Strodl, E. & Sun, J. (2015). Academic stress, parental pressure,
anxiety and health among Indian high school students. International Journal
of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, 5 (1), 26-34.
S. (2013). An assessment of academic stress among students of bachelors’ level.
Psychological Studies Journal of Central
Department of Psychology, II (2), 12-15.
A. K. & Garg, N. (2017). A study on academic stress among B.T.C.
students of Ghaziabad district of Utter Pradesh. International Journal of Research in Business Management, 5 (5), 73-78.
M. & Singh, N. (2015). Academic stress of school students in relation to
their self-esteem. Global Journal for Research Analysis, 4 (3), 1-2.
Fromel, K., Safar, M., Jakubec, L., Groffik, D. & Zatkal, R. (2020). Academic stress and
physical activity in adolescents. Hindawi BioMed Research International,
Erkutlu, H.V. & Chafra, J.
(2006). Relationship between
leadership power bases and job stress of subordinates: example from boutique
hotels. Manage. Research News, 29 (5),
K. & Warn, J. (2003). Work-place Dimensions, Stress and Job Satisfaction. Journal of Managerial Psychology,18 (1),
I. H. (2003). Cultural and gender differences in perceptions of stressors and coping
skills: A study of Western and African college students in China. School Psychology International, 24(2), 182-203. https://doi.org/10.1177/0143034303024002004
S.W., Eid, J., Laberg, J. C. & Johnsen, B.H. (2009). Academic stress and
health: exploring the moderating role of personality hardiness. Scandinavian Journal of Educational
Research, 53 (5), 421-429.
S. S. & Kapoor, S. D. (1975). Eysenck’s Maudsley Personality Inventory
Psycho Centre, India
M. & Khadi, P. B. (2006). Factor influencing for academic stress among pre-
University students. Indian Psychological
Review, 66 (2), 83-88.
M. G. (2017). Prevalence of academic stress among students. International Journal of
Home Science, 3 (3),
M. A., Lerma, E., Vela, J. C. & Watson, J. C. (2019). Predictors of academic stress among
college students. Journal of College
Counseling, 22, 41-55.
G. & Puar, S. S. (2017). Relationship between mental health and academic
stress of senior secondary school students. International Journal of
Education, 7, 39-45.
Z. S., Latif, R., Bibi, A., Rashid, S. & Tariq, A. (2017). Effect of
academic stress on the mental health of college and university students. MDSRC
- 2017 Proceedings, 27-28
December, 2017, Wah/Pakistan.
D., Kalaivani, C., & Pugalenthi, N. (2015). Personality and home
environment among the higher secondary school students. Shanlax International
Journal of Education, 4 (1), 40-47.
Menage, S. & Chandrasekeran, V. (2014) A study
on academic stress of higher secondary school students. Scholarly Research Journal for
Interdisciplinary Studies, II (XIV),1973-1981.
M. (2017). Study of academic stress in secondary students of government and
private schools. Asia Pacific Journal of
Research, I (IV), 111-113.
C. (2000). Addressing the mental health concerns of International students. Journal of Counseling and Development, 78,137-144.
P. (2018). Self-concept and achievement motivation as a predictor of academic
stress among high school students of ICSE Board. The International Journal of Indian Psychology, 6 (3), 151-161.
Oktavia, W. K., Urbayatun, S. & Mujidin, Z.
(2019). The role of peer social support and hardiness personality toward the
academic stress on students. International Journal of Scientific and
Technology Research, 8(12), 2903-2907.
Prabu, S.P. (2015). A study on academic
stress among higher secondary students. International Journal of Humanities
and Social Science Invention, 4 (10), 63-68.
S., Nayak, R. B., Patil, S. D. & Aladakatti, R. (2019). Academic stress
among Indian adolescent girls. Journal of
Education and Health Promotion, 8 (158), 1-6.
V. D. & Malathi, V. A. (2018). A study on academic stress among higher
secondary school students in Coimbatore district. International Journal for
Research in Engineering Applications and Management, 4(3), 74-80.
O., Kadivar, P., Naghsh, Z., Ghanai, Z., Daneshvarpour, Z. & Mohammad, M.
(2007). Personality traits, academic stress academic and performance. Journal of Educational Psychology Studies,
Siva Giri, P. V. & Reddy, L. G. (2017). Influence of
demographic variables on the academic stress of junior college students in
Chittoor district. International
Educational Applied Scientific Research Journal, 2 (11), 1-3.
B. R. & Singh, R. (2014). Academic stress of school going adolescents. Indian Streams Research Journal 3(12), 1-4.
A. (2000). The scale of perceived occupational stress. Occupational
Medicine. 50 (5), 294-298.
A. & Harper, S. (2006). Workplace stress and the student learning
experience. Quality Assurance in
Education, 14 (2), 167-178.
Subramani, C. & Venkatachalam, J. (2019). Parental expectation and
its relation to academic stress among school students. International Journal
of Research and Analytical Reviews (IJRAR), 6(2), 95-99.Thilak, S. A.,
Paulson, P. & Sarada, A. K. (2017). Academic
stress among high school students in ThalasseryResearch in Community Medicine, 6(1), 73-76.
K. & Manikandan, K. (2013). Influences of locus of control, self-esteem and
sex on academic stress among adolescents. Guru
Journal of Behavioral and Social Sciences,
1 (4), 186-194.
R., Sivan, S., Jayan, N. K. & Raghuram, T. M. (2016). Personality,
adjustment style and academic stress in first year medical students- a cross
sectional study. Kerala Journal of Psychiatry, 29 (1), 1-6.
V. B., Chavan, V. M., Dhumale, G. B.
& Gore, A. D. (2013). A cross sectional study of stress among junior
college students in a rural area Sangli district of Mharashtra. Innovative Journal of Medical and Health
Science, 3 (6), 294-297.
S. E. (2008). Resilience amid academic stress: the moderating impact of social
support among social work students. Advances
in Social Work, 9 (2), 106-125.
V. M. Jagiello, T. & Azzi, V. (2020). Academic Stress in the Final Years of
School: A Systematic Literature Review. Child Psychiatry and Human
Development, 1-30. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-020-00981-y.