Academic journal article College Student Journal

Coping Resource Availability and Level of Perceived Stress as Predictors of Life Satisfaction in a Cohort of Turkish College Students

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Coping Resource Availability and Level of Perceived Stress as Predictors of Life Satisfaction in a Cohort of Turkish College Students

Article excerpt

This study investigated the effects of perceived stress and availability of coping resources to predict satisfaction with life among a cohort of college students in Turkey (N=172). Results indicate that both perceived stress and coping resource availability moderately predict level of life satisfaction. It was further found that the combination of coping resource availability and perceived stress is a better predictor of life satisfaction than either variable is when considered separately. Results also indicate significant correlations between life satisfaction with perceived economic well being, social support, and stress monitoring.

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As we begin a new century, college students worldwide are faced with increasing numbers of stressors. For example, technology has exponentially increased the amount of knowledge available. Sorting through, evaluating, and assimilating vast amounts of knowledge is particularly challenging to today's college students. Prior to the widespread use of computers, resources of information were limited, making the college students' job considerably less complex and arguably less stressful. Additionally, young adulthood is a time of flux; a time when people are called upon to make life affecting decisions, such as choosing a career, establishing a household, and choosing a life-partner.

Establishing the correlates of life satisfaction among college students is essential to inform efforts to improve quality of life for these young adults. Some constructs hypothesized to correlate with life satisfaction include social interaction (Gibson, 1986), personality (Costa, McCrae, & Norris, 1981; Heady & Wearing, 1989; McCrae & Costa, 1991), income and social class (George, 1990), health (Willits & Crider, 1988), religion (Koenig, Kvale, & Ferrell, 1988), and coping resources and perceived stress (Hamarat et al., 2001).

The impact of stress on life satisfaction has been substantiated by a number of researchers (e.g. Brown, 1988; Chang, 1998; Kent, Gorenflo, Daniel, & Forney, 1993; and Nowack, 1991). Chang's (1998) research, for example, indicates that the amount of perceived stress among college students correlates with levels of depression and life satisfaction. Chang's findings indicate that the more stress students experience, the lower their levels of life satisfaction. Chang's research further found that the more optimistic the student, the greater the satisfaction with life.

One might question the reason for students' differing levels of optimism. Perhaps optimism is affected by a student's perception of his level of stress. Hamarat et al.'s (2001) findings indicate that perceived stress levels predict life satisfaction among American college students. Interestingly, Hamarat et al. found that for middle-aged and older adults, combining a measure of perceived stress with a measure of coping resource effectiveness provided a better predictor of life satisfaction than did perceived stress alone. For young adults in Hamarat et al.'s study, however, perceived stress alone was the best predictor of satisfaction with life.

While investigations of life satisfaction among college students have been conducted in other cultures (e.g., Lange & Byrd, 1998), previous studies have not tested the ability of coping resource effectiveness and perceived stress to predict college students' subjective well being, or satisfaction with life as did Hamarat, et al. (2001) in the United States.

Using the same measures as Hamarat et al. (2001), the present investigation examined the relationships among perceived stress, coping resource availability, and satisfaction with life in young adults. Hamarat et al. assessed this relationship in North American participants, across three age groups, one of which was college students. The focus of this research, however, is on coping, stress, and life satisfaction among Turkish college students. …

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