Experienced stress, psychological symptoms, self-rated health and academic achievement: A longitudinal study of Swedish university students

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Marjan Vaez
Lucie Laflamme
Cite this article:  Vaez, M., & Laflamme, L. (2008). Experienced stress, psychological symptoms, self-rated health and academic achievement: A longitudinal study of Swedish university students. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 36(2), 183-196.


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In this study we investigated whether or not problems experienced during years at university affect academic achievement. Students enrolled full-time at a Swedish university were followed up from their year of entry in 1998/1999 through to 2000/2001 (N = 1,127) by self-administered questionnaires. Students’ sociodemographic characteristics, their experience of stressors, psychological symptoms, and mental and general health ratings were linked to their academic achievement (degree completed). The extent to which various factors or groups of factors affect academic achievement was measured by a series of multiple logistic regression analyses. Older students, females, and those enrolled on comparatively shorter programs (3 years) tended to have higher odds of being awarded a degree. Experienced stress brought on by not coping academically and due to study support demands was a substantial barrier to students’ academic achievement.

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