Academic stress: its causes and results at a Ugandan University
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The study examined academic stress, study habits and academic performance of 196 (113 males and 83 females) undergraduates of Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda using a cross-sectional survey research design. Findings showed that daily academic hassles were found to be the most stressful (M = 3.11; SD = 0.96) while personal problems were reported as the least stressful (M = 2.27; SD = 0.86). First year students experienced greater academic stress from financial hardships (χ2 = 10.71; p = .03), academic overload/time (χ2 = 10.23; p = .04) and social expectations (χ2 = 10.79; p = .01) than the continuing students. Motivation was the most used study habit (M = 6.52; SD = 1.18) among the respondent, while studying a chapter was the least common study habit (M = 3.86; SD = 1.35) among the students. Faculty of Development Studies students had better study habits (χ2 = 8.75; p = .03) than other faculties/institute based on grade performance. The GPA/CGPA 4.40 - 5.00 category had superior study habits (χ2 = 11.47; p = .01) than the other GPA/CGPA categories. Age (OR =. 88) was a significant predictor of having supplementary exams. Our results highlight the need for strategic interventions focusing on reducing academic stressors and improving the study habits of the undergraduates considering the uniqueness of the different faculties and year of study for improved academic performance.
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