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Int. j. econ. manag. soc. sci., Vol(3), No (10), October, 2014. pp.

611-616

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International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences


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ISSN:
2306-7276

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved for TI Journals.

The study of stressors factors and responses towards these factors in girl
and boy students
Karim Afsharinia*
Department of Psychology, Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah, Iran.
*Corresponding author: kafsharinia@yahoo.com

Keywords

Abstract

stressors factors
resources for stress
gender differences

The current research is conducted to studying and comparing factors that cause stress and responses to these
factors in boy and girl students. Statistical society of this study was all of undergraduates in 11th zone of
Azad University which studying in 1390-91 educational year. From among them, 550 students were selected
(280 male and 270 female) with cluster sampling method by several steps. The tool of this research was
student life stress inventory (SLSI). For analyze of data we use multivariate analysis of covariance to control
age variable, hierarchy regression analysis for delineating role of gender and five sources of educational
stress to predict responses towards this factors. Five category of stressors factors including Frustration,
Conflict, pressure, changes and self- imposed stress and four descriptors of responses towards stress namely
"physiological , excitation, cognitive and behavioral" were investigate. Results of research show that girl
students have high scores than boy in four responses to stressors and multiple factors, which cause stress
including Frustration, pressure, changes and self-imposed stress, while boy students obtained higher scores
only in self-, imposed stress factors. Result of multivariate analysis of covariance indicated that gender
variable have significant effect after control of age. In addition, results of hierarchy regression analysis show
that anticipating factors of gender and four resources for educational stress, have anticipate Physiological,
Excitation, Cognitive and Behavioral responses, significantly. All of factors, which cause educational stress,
play significant role to anticipate resources for educational stressors.

Introduction
Stress has been posing as a truth in modern life and it is impossible to control it without sufficient understanding of it. Familiarity with various
definition of this phenomenon is the first step for understanding of it. In terms of technical subject, Stress is a physical and psychic state, which
results from posing threat, or dissatisfied needs (demand). You will experience physical responses, if you encounter with a danger or have
challenging situation that named "Tension" or "Stress". Stressors factor can be an external or internal factor (Dobrin1387). There is too much
resource for Stress in everyday life. Although HANS SELIE (1974) have distinguish between useful Stress and harmful Stress and identifying
some level of Stress, as necessity for continuing of life, but in psychology, the word of Stress have been used in case of harmful Stress
(REZAKHANI et al 1387). Different research show that individual is encounter with various stressors factors such as poor performance
condition, intolerable political condition, death, birth, time pressure, financial concerns, continuous disputes in family and work situations,
changes in type of feeding, change of climate, separating from family and changes in type of role, factors such as course selection, finding a
roommate, unit selection, financial problems, changes of life style, job selecting and marriage (cited by REZAKHANI et al 1387). Many
research have been conducted on "stress in education carrier" including Edwards, HERSHDERGER, RASELS and MARGCET 2001, MISRA,
Mac Kean, West and Toni 2000; RIPHMAN and DANKELMESHTER1990, MISRA and KASTELINO 2004). In one of these researches, Saks
(1997) affirmed the fact that stress is increasing in student course significantly.
There are different definitions that pose about stress. In one of them, King et al (1987) cited by Jones (1992) defined stress as a negative emotion
which related to doubt collation. It seems that this definition has close relation to stress which exist in educational and student fields. There is a
great expectancy from students to encounter with high amount of tasks and this issue can become a basis for skepticism about "self".
Educational stress refers to increasing need for knowledge and at the same time, perception based on does not having sufficient time for reaching
to that knowledge. KAROUS, GIZ and Moss (1996) in refer to factor which produce stress in student course, have emphasize on important role
which "limit time" of student, play in reaching to knowledge. ABOUZARI (1994) and KELM and Frazer (1986) cited by MISRA and
KASTELINO (2004) noted that students reported more stress in parts of every educational semester such as exam and during competition with
their friends to obtained highest scores. MOORIS(1990) Cited by SHOKRI et al (1385) emphasize on quintuplet stressors factors (Frustration,
conflicts, pressures, changes and self-imposed stress) and four group of responses towards these factors (physiological, excitation, cognitive and
behavioral). In face of factors that produce stress, student show various physical and physiological responses. Exhibitions of stress including
physical harm, chronic lack of energy, decreasing motives, Headache, digestive problems, sleep problems, depression and anxiety.
Some other studies show that gender is very important in applying different collation approach as encountering with factors which cause stress
and having experience educational stress (MISRA and KASTELINO (2004), METWID (2004), MISRA et al (2000)). Also, researches have
show that there is significant relationship between both gender in responses to stressors factors and women reported more educational stress than
men. Also, most popular responses to stress among student were excitation and cognitive responses (MISRA et al 2000).
This research aims to study role of gender differences in experience factors cause educational and student stress and responses to them as well as
role of these factors to prediction of responses to them.

Karim Afsharinia *

612

International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences Vol(3), No (10), October, 2014.

Research method
Statistical society, sample and research method
According to nature and main aim of research, based on comparing factors which produce stress and responses to them in girl and boy students,
method of current research is sectional post- occurrence which in it, considering conditions have already exist in examinees and its effects are
measure. Data were collect by related questionnaires from sample and then were analyzed. Statistical society of current research was all of
undergraduates in 11th zone of Islamic Azad University which studying in it at 1390-91 educational years. From among these students, 550
person (280 boys and 270 girls) were select by cluster multi-sage sampling method. Selection was done among all of collegiate branches in 11th
zone which encompass KERMANSHAH, KORDESTAN and ILAM provinces and two collegiate branches were Select from each provinces,
randomly. Then, three courses were select by random and finally with regard to distribution percent of girl and boy students in considering
society, sample (550 person) was select randomly.

Research tool
Student life stress Inventory: The tool of current research was student life stress inventory (SLSI). GADZALA (1991) design this tool for
purpose of studying stressors factors in life of student and their responses to these factors.
This inventory is a self-reporting pencil- paper tool which consist of 51 question, rang in 9 category. This tool is base on theoretical model
describe by MOORIS (1990). Aforesaid model evaluate quintuplet stressors factors (Frustrations, conflicts, pressures, changes and self- imposed
stress) and four group responses to these factors (physiological, excitation, cognitive and behavioral). In each subscale, to obtain a general score,
scores of questions were sum. Higher scores indicated greater educational stress and more responses to stress respectively. In educational
stressors factors part, Subscale of Frustration consist of seven questions, conflict has three questions, changes has three, pressure has three and
finally self- imposed stress has six questions. MISRA and KASTILO (2004) reported Alpha coefficient for Frustration, conflict, changes,
pressures and self- imposed subscales as 6.30, 75.0, 63.0, 65.0 respectively.
In responses towards stressors factors, pour type of responses to educational stressors factors include Physiological (14 questions), Excitation (4
questions), Behavioral (8 questions) Cognitive (2 questions). MISRA and KASTILO (2004) reported Alpha coefficient for Physiological,
Excitation, Behavioral and Cognitive subscales as 85.0, 68.0, 87.0, 78.0 respectively. In Iran, SHOKRI et al (1385) obtain reliability coefficient
of this inventory with Alpha method for Frustration, Conflict, Pressures, Changes and Self-imposed stress subscales as 69.0, 75.0, 68.0, 71.0,
73.0 respectively and for Physiological, Excitation, Behavioral and Cognitive subscales as 79.0 , 85.0, 88.0, 71.0 respectively.
After random selection of examinees, "student life stress inventory" give to them for respond to it. For analyze of data, we use multivariate
analysis of covariance for control of age variable and use from hierarchy regression analysis for delineating role of gender and five resource of
educational stress in responses to this factors.

Results of research
In this section, at first we give mean and standard deviation of factors which cause stress and responses to these factors in boy and girl Students.
The multivariate analysis of covariance (MANOVA) was present for difference of groups.
Table 1, present averages and standard deviations of causing stress factors and responses to them in two genders. Totally comparing general
score of stress in student indicate that girls experience more educational stress than boys. In four level of stressors factors (Frustrations,
Pressures, Changes and Self-imposed stress) boy student report higher scores than girls, whereas in four level of responses to theses stressors
factors (Physiological, Excitation, Cognitive and Behavioral) girl students show higher scores than boys.
Before multivariate analysis of covariance, we examine normality of normal distribution givens and homogeneity variance- covariance matrix.
Normality of distribution was study by SMIROVE-KOLMOGROVE Test and homogeneity variance- covariance matrix was examine with
MBOX statistic (DENSI and KIDY 2002). Significant level of SMIROVE-KOLMOGROVE Test was not meaningful for each 9 level. Thus,
assumption of having normality is true. Value of MBOX statistic for homogeneity of variance- covariance given, indicated this homogeneity
(F=2/13,p=0/069).
Table 1. Descriptive characteristics of male and female students' mean scores on the nine subscales of the Student Life Stress Inventory (SLSI)(n=550)
Mean(Standard deviation)
Sig

Total

Girl

Son

Stress causes
0/001

4/14

(4/12)17/35

(3/09)18/26

(5/18)16/47

Failures

0/026

5/39

(2/86)10/45

(2/46)11/17

(3/12)9/73

Conflict

0/001

3/98

(2.87)10/13

(2/64)10/88

(3/09)9/38

Pressures

0/001

3/92

(3/37)8/42

(3/12)9/57

(3/64)7/27

Changes

0/001

5/08

(3/37)19

(3/31)17/24

(3/44)20/76

Self- imposed Stress

0/001

4/29

(6/61)29/03

(7/11)31/42

(6/12)26/64

Physiological

0/001

5/08

(3/54)12/005

(2/98)13/29

(4/11)10/72

Emotion

0/001

3/45

(4/95)16/3

(5/83)18/26

(4/08)14/34

Behavioral

0/001

4/14

(2/31)5.56

(2/51)6/71

(2/12)4/42

Cognitive

0/001

5/37

(26/62)127/94

(22/11)145/15

(31/13)119/21

Total

Reactions

613

The study of stressors factors and responses towards these factors in girl and boy students
International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences Vol(3), No (10), October, 2014.

Since there are significant difference between age average of girl and boy Students (t=0/642, p<0/01), we used MANCOVA for examine gender
differences in experiencing student stress and control of age. Result of multivariate analysis of covariance about stressors factors with use
WILKS LAMBEDA statistic indicated that there is meaningful difference between two gender (p<0/001) (=0/99, F(5/327)=3/68) (Table 2).
Result of multivariate analysis of covariance about responses to stressors factors in student, with use of WILKS LAMBEDA indicated that there
is meaningful difference between two genders.
Table 2. Multivariate covariance analysis of factors causing stress and students' responses to these factors, the age covariate variable (n=550)

Sig

F(D.F)

Variable

Stress causes
0/01

0/01

98/12(1)

Failures

0/01

0/041

18/45(1)

Conflicts

0/001

0/024

112/43(1)

Pressures

0/001

0/019

71/6(1)

Changes

0/002

0/018

151/06(1)

Stress imposed

0/002

0/021

889/21(1)

0/001

0/02

261/11(1)

Emotion

0/002

0/015

90/4(1)

Behavioral

0/001

0/03

53/81(1)

Cognitive

Reactions
Physiological

Table 3, presented correlation matrix between stressors factors and responses to these factors. Result of correlation analysis show that stressors
factors have a meaningful correlation with responses.
As we mention before hierarchy regression analysis was conduct with aim to determine importance role of gender and each of five factors which
cause student stress, in anticipating each of four responses.
Table 3. Correlation matrix of factors causing stress and students' reactions to these agents

Behavioral

0/23**

Emotion

Physiological

Stress imposed

Changes

Pressures

Conflict

Failures
41/0**

Conflict

0/26**

45/0**

Pressures

0/5**

25/0**

0/49**

Changes

0/40**

0/44**

0/21**

0/37**

Stress imposed

0/40**

0/39**

0/42**

0/28**

0/49**

Physiological

0/61**

0/58**

0/48**

0/49**

0/31**

0/56**

Emotion

0/60**

0/59**

0/36**

0/31**

0/29**

0/30**

0/39**

Behavioral

0/24**

0/25**

0/32**

0/23**

0/29**

0/24**

0/29**

Cognitive
p<0/01 **, p<0/05 *

(Table4) At first, gender and in the following, each of five responses stressors factors in student was enter to this equation. Result of analysis
regression indicate that gender variable is significant anticipating for each of four responses. In addition, all of stressors factors (Frustrations,
Conflicts, Pressures, Changes and Self-imposed stress) are meaningful anticipating factors to four responses in regression model. Determination
coefficient show that anticipating variables in model, denote, 044.0 from variance of physiological, 042.0 of excitation, 016.0 of cognitive 025.0
of and behavioral responses. Regression model was meaningful for all of these responses.

Discussion and conclusion


In current research, we compare stressors factors in students and responses to these factors in gender groups. Results show that boy students have
reported higher scores in self-imposed stress variable than girl students and instead girl students exhibit higher scores in four stressors factors
(Frustrations, Conflicts, Pressures, Changes).
Also, these result show that girl students obtain higher scores in all of four level of responses towards stressors factors (Physiological, Excitation,
Cognitive and Behavioral).
In suit with what is said before, result of covariance analysis indicated that after control of age variable; there is significant difference between
two gender in terms of stressors factors and responses to these factors. In the same context, result of hierarchy regression analysis model show
that anticipator variable namely gender and student stress factors have a significant role to anticipate of responses towards these factors,
statistically.

Karim Afsharinia *

614

International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences Vol(3), No (10), October, 2014.

Table 4. Hierarchical regression analysis of responses to the causes tension


Sig.

Variables

Steps

p<0.001 F-41/174 R-0/44

Physiological reactions

0/026

0/09

96/1

Gender

0/001

0/37

0/86

Failures

0/012

0/21

0/32

Conflict

0/032

0/24

0/41

Pressures

0/005

0/19

0/51

Changes

0/011

0/13

0/34

Stress imposed

0/022

0/08

0/69

0/001

0/31

0/26

Failures

NS

0/04

0/11

Conflict

0/021

0/12

0/18

Pressures

0/001

0/16

0/26

Changes

0/001

0/48

0/39

p<0.001 F-59/43

R-0/46

Emotional reactions
Gender

Stress imposed
p<0.001 F-25/91

R-0/26

Behavioral response

NS

0/01

0/13

Gender

0/001

0/29

0/41

Failures

NS

0/09

0/18

Conflict

0/011

0/12

0/24

Pressures

0/008

0/16

0/33

Changes

0/008

0/12

0/17

Stress imposed
p<0.001 F-8/14 R-0/18

Cognitive response

NS

0/08

0/3

Gender

NS

0/07

0/03

Failures

0/001

0/18

0/16

Conflict

NS

0/05

0/05

Pressures

NS

0/09

0/08

Changes

0/001

0/26

0/12

Stress imposed

Results of current research about differences between girl and boy students in 9 level of "student life stress inventory" are in agreement with
finding of MISRA & KASTILO (2004) and MISRA et al (2000) and SHOKRI et. Al (1385). Also, this finding which boy students report higher
scores in self-imposed stress factors than girl students is in agreement with finding of NEZO et al (2003), METWID (2004), Roger&
NAJJARIAN (1989), Roger (1998), Roger (2003) and GARLFSKI (2004). The main factor in self-imposed stress is excitation inhibition and
mental cud (Roger cited by NAJJARIAN 1385). According to Roger's view, level of excitation suppression and mental cud which have direct
relation with perceived tension, in women are less than men. Suppression means that the tendency to suppress and repression of emotions,
whereas mental cud is continuous reflection about excitation inconvenience many years after occurring an event or vice versa, prediction of
occurrence of inconvenience in future. Roger has defined stress as mental engagement to excitation depression. Usually, mental cud is fixed over
time and therefore is a stable and rote method for responding. In addition, relation between mental cud and stress have been clear with
systematic and qualified method and by use of physiological scales such as heartbeat and blood pressure. Thus, mental cud lead to produce
physiological responses "war or escape". As a result, continuous incitement of physiological system result to scuff of cardiovascular system and
in turn it is deleterious potentially. In addition, mental cud force shell of Adrenalin gland to be activate and this cause to secreting Cortisone and
increasing level of Cortisone for long period can lead to disordering in system. According Roger and NAJJARIAN (1998) men obtain higher
scores in mental cud scale than women and this can be one of main reasons for self-imposed stress in men.
Excitation suppression also refer to this matter that whether a person absorb her or his excitement (emotions) or express it. This is inevitable that
more suppressed emotions can lead to inject higher amount of stress to person. Many researches indicated that women have less excitation
suppression in compare with men. Thus, women share their concerns with others greatly when they are messy and discharge their emotions.
Persons who are solitary from social viewpoint, have more stress and less outgoing channel for discharge of their frustration and obtain less
supporting from others.
Also, results of current research are in agreement with findings of Hide & plant (1995), MISRA et al (2000), Tomas & William (1991),
KERNALS et.al (2001), Roger (1998), KRONI (2000), AHME (2001) and GARLFSKI (2004) show that girl Students have more tendency to
express their emotions as a behavior in compare with boy Students. Gender differences in giving responses towards stress may be the result of

615

The study of stressors factors and responses towards these factors in girl and boy students
International Journal of Economy, Management and Social Sciences Vol(3), No (10), October, 2014.

socializing general role in which person learn that behavioral expression of social emotions is accompany with more acceptance (Gilbert and
sheer 1999). Many of cultures allow women to express their emotion with behavior whereas don't know this as a proper and apt behavior for
men.
In suit with, research literature can emphasize on important role of collation behavior to make clear differences between stressors factors and
responses to these factors in both gender. Some of researchers have indicate that men use problem-based collation styles as encounter with
stressors situations and women use emotion-based collation styles in such situations. METWID (2004), Al Maida& KESLER (1998) have
emphasize on traditional socialization patterns to make clear general differences in collation with stressors factors process. Female gender role is
defined with refer to features such as dependence, affiliation, excitation expression, lack of courage and dependence of personal needs to others
needs.
Such features make acceptance and expression of emotions based on weakness, incompetence and fear for men and use of active problem
solving for women, impossible. Since women select female role and men select male role, more likely; related stress with awareness of gender
behavior is different for two genders. It seems that you can make clear observed gender differences in collation behavior with help of
"socialization hypothesis". This hypothesis anticipates that men use more active collation behavior and women use emotion-based and passive
behavior for socialization (PERLINE & SKELOR 1978; PETASK et al 1992 cited by METWID 2004).
Therefore, according to this research we give empirical evidence for supporting role of gender differences in experience of stress which help to
mental health specialists to have a more effective performance in designing and planning of preventing and treatment programs. For example,
Since girl students in compare with boy students have higher scores in responses to stressors factors, mental health specialists must use a variety
of collation behavioral approaches such as practice, cognitive- behavioral treatment based on recognition of cognitive distortions and cognitive
approaches based on health such as cognitive reconstruction. Result of current research also impress on necessity of stress management training.
Progressive relaxation of muscle, meditation, biological feedback, training behavioral-cognitive skill and finally combining above mentioned
skills with each other (MORPHY 1996 cited by HIRAKAVA, YAGI and Miata 2002) are among useful methods. Muscle progressive relation
consist of practice for release stress form muscle with focus on its activity. (JAKOBSON 1938 cited by HIRAKAVA et. al 2002). Meditation
may be include imaging of a silent place and repeat a neutral word or phrase such as "one" with closed eyes (BENION 1976, cited by
HIRAKAVA et. al 2002). It is assume that this method can provoke relaxation responses. In training of biological feedback, person received
some information (feedback) about physiological responses, during stress management training period and use of this feedback to change the
response. For example, one can learn how reduce Muscle stress using feedback which result from certain Muscles. Training of cognitivebehavioral skill (Elis and Harper 1975 cited by HIRAKAVA et. al 2002) help to person change evaluation processes which determined whether
motives are harmful or non harmful and develop behavioral skills for managing stressors factors and finally use combination of these factors. It
seems that as studying student stress; focus on relation of stress with time managing
behaviors, collation
approach, cognitive evaluation process, supporting structures and being native or non native students, is necessary. In addition to this, study of
effect of gender role expectancies on perception and response towards educational stress that in turn have affect from cultural context, have
considerable importance.

Acknowledgement
Given that the article is extracted from a research project funded by Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah done. The author considers it
his all stakeholders who have contributed to this project to fruition will appreciate.

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