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Write a project to identify stress levels within a group of people and assess the impact upon the individuals. Does taking a Stress Test alleviate stress? Does taking a stress test help people identify their own stress?
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Stress levels of individuals directly affect their health. Research in the area of Biomedicine studies the effect of environmental and social factors on internal conditions of an individual in an attempt to find the relationship between stress and health (Arnetz, 2006). The same stress factors can trigger different reactions in different individuals, depending on what is called “conditioning factors” (Selye, 2013). Stress scales have been developed by various psychologists for studying the stress levels of specific communities. In this essay, we will look into the stress levels of students and the impact on their health using three scales, the Student Stress scale, the Holme- Rahe Life stress inventory and a version of Hassles scale.
The tests will be administered to three students over the period of an academic year. My study seeks to find if taking the stress test has been helpful for the participants and if they can integrate the stress test in their lives. I will also seek to find ou if any stressors have been left out of the scale for them and which of the three scales they prefer. I wish to arrive at a conclusion about who can benefit from these tests and if this has an impact on my own life as well.
First Volunteer: My first volunteer Kim, aged 36, scored 260, 170 and 312 on her Student Stress test, 193, 170, 170 on her Holmes Rahe Test and 90, 70 and 100 on her Hassles test. Kim had left a traditional Korean home to pursue her Masters and was staying in student accommodation. She was going through serious changes in her lifestyle and facing high expectations of academic achievement. She found that taking the stress test helped her to see that her problems were not unique and a realisation that all students go through the same process of adjustment to student life. She thought that being Asian leaving her home and making adjustments for everything from food to shopping by herself had been the most stressful part of her adjustment process and this was a stressor that she felt was left out in the test, the test did not account for cultural differences. Kim generally had good health throughout the testing period, but she did become more susceptible to colds and fevers more than when she was living at home.
Second Volunteer: John, aged 42, scored 153, 118 and 155 in his Student Stress Test; 92, 70, 70 on the Holmes Rahe test and 80, 70 and 50 on his Hassles Scale. John had been saving up for doing his Master’s, and his entry into student life was well planned and organised. He had to take a small loan to cover some cost of his tuition and leaving his job, and his lifestyle behind and getting reused to being a student took more adjustment than he had anticipated. The course was more demanding and challenging, and the rent and living expenses around university had gone up from his undergraduate days. John reported no major changes in his health other than a feeling of tiredness from too much work on the computer and sometimes missing sleep and his exercises.
Third Volunteer: Pat, aged 35, scored 220, 185, 263 on his Student Stress Test, 96, 82, 98 on hid Holmes Rahe Test and 120, 150, 180 on his Hassles Scale. Pat had taken a break from working to appear for his masters. He was partly financed by his parents and had saved up some of the tuition cost. He found the change from his working life to student life very stressful as his relationship with his roommates was not very good. He was very used to living on his own and found having to share accommodation with noisy people quite difficult. His relationship with his roommates seemed to go through a very bad patch during the third test and since this was also the time when his coursework was due he was very stressed during the taking of the third stress tests. Pat reported catching a cold more often when he was stressed and feeling very run down and demotivated during these times.