Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Psychology

Perceived Stress: A Comparative Study of Student Nurses from Mainstream and Minority Religious Group in Pakistan

Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Psychology

Perceived Stress: A Comparative Study of Student Nurses from Mainstream and Minority Religious Group in Pakistan

Article excerpt

Byline: Riaz Ahmad and Rabia Mushtaq

ABSTRACT

The objective of the present study is to investigate the difference between the minority student nurses and their dominant counterparts in Karachi, Pakistan, in their scores of perceived stress. It was hypothesized that the minority (Christian) student nurses would score higher on perceived stress than their dominant (Muslim) counterparts. Data was gathered from different nursing schools of Karachi, Pakistan. The sample consisted of 556 student nurses of age's 19 years-30 year with mean age of 21.41years.comprised of two groups, that is, 252 Christians (mean age= 21.57) and 304 Muslims (mean age= 21.289). Pakistani version of Perceived Stress Scale was used to measure the level of perceived stress in both groups of subjects. Descriptive statistics were used for view of characteristics of sample in a summarized way and t- test was used to analyze the mean difference in the scores of perceived stress between Christian and Muslim student nurses.

Result indicates that there is a statistically significant mean difference in the scores of perceived stress between Christian and Muslim student nurses (t= -3.103, df= 554, pless than .002). Findings of this study identify that the level of perceived stress in nursing students who belong to minority groups significantly higher than their dominant counterparts.

Keywords: Perceived Stress, nurses, trainee, minority.

INTRODUCTION

Stress is the body's reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response. Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes the individual to feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious (Morrow, 2011). Holmes and Rahe (1967) argue that any life change that requires numerous readjustments can be perceived as stressful. Stress refers to experiencing events that are perceived as endangering one's physical or psychological well-being (Edward et al., 2003). Cognitive-relational theory describes stress as a relationship between person and his or her environment that is appraised as exceeding to person's resources and threatening for his or her well-being. According to Lazarus and Folkman (1994) appraisal involves two steps: whether we judge a situation as a threat (primary appraisal), and whether we believe we can cope with it (secondary appraisal).

This theory further emphasizes the reciprocal nature and continues interaction between individual and the environment, which can be changed overtime due to several factors, such as, improvement in personal abilities, coping effectiveness and altered requirements.

Everyone experiences stress when confronted by life events that conflict with their values, beliefs, or life circumstances. Usually people react to and cope with these stressors in ways that make stress manageable (Glanz and Schwartz, 2008). According to Herman (2001), Stress is a perceptual event--not an external one". It is how you perceive stress and what are your resources to control it which determines the impact of stress, as Lazarus (1966) proposed that for an event or situation to be considered stressful, it must be perceived as stressful via perceptual processes. However, Stressful situations, whether long-term or short-term, can lead to different emotional problems, as arguments have been made that up to 80% of all illnesses are stress-related either directly or indirectly (Astin, Shapiro and Schwartz, 2000).

Some stressors are acute and some are chronic and the source of the stress can be within the individual or in the form of motives or desires. Wildgust (1986) and McKay, Buen, Bohan and Maye (2010) found that stress in the learning environment is important to the positive motivation of a student, but stress beyond a motivational level can lead the student toward negative consequences. Generally students are prone to different kind of stressors, such as pressure of studies, obligation to succeed, uncertainty related to future and adjustment related issues. …

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