BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Universities all around the globe are locations where learning is pursued at its utmost degree and it is the hub for intellectual endeavors. It is vital to remind ourselves of the aims of a university since for a correct chart of the university course, it is paramount to explain the purpose of universities. For a university to reach such aims, it has to be well equipped and dedicated to carry out such obligations. Regrettably, Nigerian institutions like the University of Benin have fallen short of what these objectives are and they are afflicted by several challenges which are harming their proper functioning and the student in particular. For successful learning to take place, the proper conditions that would be advantageous to this memory have to be put in locations.
Stress is a primary cause of issues that students confront during their university education while they are striving to obtain academic objectives for their future life (Lee & Graham, 2001). (Lee & Graham, 2001). Academic pressure is one of the elements that drives pupils to fail. Sharma, Parasar and Mahto (2017) describe stress as the mental reaction and action by hormonal signaling, the impression of danger prompts an instinctive response mechanism, known as response to fight or escape. Generally, stress relates to two things, the psychological impression of pressure, on the one hand, and the body’s response to it, on the other, which encompasses various systems, from muscle breakdown to memory. Stress requires high expectations of oneself, which generates a sensation of tension and pressure (Goedert, Cuenda, Craxton, Jakes & Cohen 1997). (Goedert, Cuenda, Craxton, Jakes & Cohen 1997). Certain tensions set us in action and are excellent for us without any stress. Many think that our life would be uninteresting and potentially pointless (Wilson,2007) (Wilson,2007). However, when stress threatens our psychological and physical wellbeing, it is negative. Students are vulnerable to many forms of stresses, such as pressure from academics with the duty to achieve, an unclear future and difficulty integrating into the system. Students also confront social, emotional, physical and family challenges that might impair their capacity to study and their academic achievement (Rogers & Yassin,2003) (Rogers & Yassin,2003). Too much stress can create physical and mental health problems, low student self-esteem, and can even influence students’ academic performance (Niemi & Vainiomaki,1999) (Niemi & Vainiomaki,1999). For students presently attending university, however, the process is typically difficult and unpleasant. According to Cotton, Dollard and DeJonge (2002), competition for grades, the urge to do well, relationships, career options and many other characteristics of the university environment are sources of stress.
Stress may have both beneficial and harmful implications for the individual. Optimal stress may lead to optimal efficiency, provide happiness, a feeling of well-being and achievement, and another reward for success (Mensah, Fosu, & Oteng, 2017). (Mensah, Fosu, & Oteng, 2017). On the other side, severe stress at school can lead to lack of appetite for reading, poor performance and diminished mental and physical health. Stress is generated by specific elements (stressors) that occur inside and outside the educational environment (Zautra, 2006). (Zautra, 2006). These stresses can be characterized as intra-individual, inter-individual, institutional and extrainstitutional stressors. Knowing all this as a foundation to a positive academic performance of university students, who are crucial to our economic growth, one approach to safeguard our investment is to help them stay healthy; therefore the research of the effects of stress on the academic performance of students.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The academic achievement of students is an important element of education (Rono 2013). Traditionally, it has been regarded as the focal point around which the whole educational system revolves. Some of the elements that influence excellent academic accomplishment include the number of hours spent studying each day, the economic level of the parents, and the availability of appropriate learning facilities (Singh, Malik, and Singh) (2016). Notably, students confront difficulties in their academic pursuits as a result of the inadequate application of these elements to improve academic success. The presence of some common characteristics has, however, been recognized as potential drivers of linked academic stress. These problems include, among others, conference overload, extended conference hours, poor time management, student financial challenges, and several other variables. Despite the fact that a great deal of study has been done on the relationship between school stress and student performance. When it comes to stress and academic performance in secondary school students, researchers like Kaumi, Alkali, Kali, and Shehu (2018) have done extensive research on the subject. However, little research has been done on how students in higher education fare when it comes to stress and academic achievement. This study was carried out in order to determine the influence of stress on academic success of university students utilizing students from the University of Uyo as the research subjects.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of stress on the academic performance of University student and the associated risk when stress is not managed properly. Other specific objectives of the Study includes:
- To identify the causes of stress among the students at the university of Uyo.
- To ascertain the specific areas of stress in the lives of students the university of Uyo.
- To determine whether stress significantly affect the academic achievement of University of Uyo student.
- To identify techniques to deal with the stress University of Uyo student.
The research is guided by the following questions:
- What are the causes of stress among the students at the university of Uyo?
- What are the specific areas of stress in the lives of students the university of Uyo?
- Does stress significantly affect the academic achievement of University of Uyo student?
- What are the techniques to deal with the stress University of Uyo student?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that this research will give information on protective variables that may be used to lessen the negative impact of stress on students’ academic achievement. This research will assist students at the University of Uyo, particularly those in the faculties of Pharmacy and Medicine, as well as the whole university community. The findings of the study include guidelines for stress management that will increase student thinking skills such as creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making, and learning capacity, among others. In this course, students and the general public will be exposed to specific areas of stress in their life, and the causes of stress among students at the University of Uyo will be identified and discussed. The findings of the research study will be used to make suggestions on proper methods of dealing with stress and the approaches to use while dealing with it. The research can contribute to the body of knowledge in the subject area, which can then be utilized as a source of reference by other researchers in the course of their own research in the field. Consequently, future scholars will be able to read the methods and conclusions of this work in order to perform more research in the relevant field.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study borders on the effect of stress on the academic performance of University students with reference to Faculty of Pharmacy and College of Health Science. This is due to the fact that the university is made up of many faculties and that research cannot be carried out using all of these establishments. The students’ results are also expected to faithfully reflect other students from other schools and faculties of the University.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only senior secondary schools in Owerrinta axis in Isiala Ngwa South local government area of Abia State. Thus findings of this study cannot be used generalization in other senior secondary schools in other states within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the purpose of clarity, the following terms are used in this essay are defined as follows:
Stressors: These are chemical or biological agent, environmental condition, external stimulus or an event that causes stress to an organism.
Mental Health: According to WHO, it is not just the absence of mental disorder. It is defined as a state of well-being, in which every individual realizes his or her own potentials, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make contribution to his or her community.
Stress Syndrome: These are groups of symptoms or characteristic of stress. It could be a psychological disorder or an abnormal condition.
Academic Performance: It refers to how students deal with their studies and how they cope or accomplish different task given them by their teachers.