Annual Survey Finds Stress Rising for Female Students

An annual survey of college freshman reports that 30 percent who entered college in the Fall of 1999 reported that they frequently felt “overwhelmed.” Thirty-nine percent of the women surveyed reported feeling overwhelmed while nearly half the number of men (20 percent) reported that feeling.

The 1999 survey, conducted for 34 consecutive years by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, is designed to document trends and changes in attitudes and goals of college freshmen over time. The results are based on the responses of 261,217 students at 462 two-year and four-year institutions.

According to the study, women spend more time studying, volunteering, and participating in student activities while men reported spending more times exercising and playing sports, watching television, partying, and playing video games. “These finding suggest that women spend time on goal-oriented and potentially stress-producing activities, whereas men more often participate in activities that provide a recreational outlet and possible release from stress,” the study said.

In addition to reporting higher levels of stress, students are also reporting less of a commitment to social activism, notably in the areas of race relations, the environment, and “helping others who are in difficulty.”


The Chronicle of Higher Education - January 24, 2000

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