Thirty seven college students at DePaul University’s Lincoln Park campus were surveyed in reason to find whether a college student that works during the academic year becomes stressed out compared to a college student who doesn’t hold a job. The surveys collected were entered in SPSS to determine my results. I found that students who experienced some form of anxiety had no effect to their grade point average. I could not find any significant difference between college students with jobs compared to those with out jobs in regards to their grade point average.
Introduction This study that I’ve done investigates how working and going to college contribute to stress among college students and are the grades of college students who work at least 20 hours per week affecting their grade point average. In 2002, The Associated Press found that employment and academics generally harm grades and are stressful. These effects depend on being a part-time or full-time student, how many classes the student is taking, and how many hours per week they work.
The United States Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, conducted a study examining the characteristics and educational experience of working adult undergraduates, focusing on those who considered employment their primary activity. The participants were divided into two groups depending on their answer to the question, “While you were enrolled and working would you say you were primarily: 1) a student working to meet expenses or 2) an employee who decided to enroll in school? In 1999-2000, roughly two thirds of working undergraduates’ age 24 or older reported that work was their primary activity. Emotional stress, such as anxiety, is also connected to academic stress. More and more college students are holding jobs now in order to pay for college or to survive financially while in school. Reisberg believes, “Academic studies have also become much more strenuous over the last 30 years” (Reisberg, 2000). Many students are at risk of being stressed out during the school year, with reasons such as test and continuous assignments.
Based on prior knowledge, I knew that overwhelm can be related to small daily hassles, while chronic stress takes place when several environmental stressors continue to be a worry for a long period of time, like finances and schoolwork. Emotional stress, such as anxiety, is also connected to academic stress. For all of the reasons listed previously, I hope to see that my study will yield to my prediction, that students with jobs will report feeling more stressed than students without jobs as well as having a lower grade point average.
Within this study I will research the following questions: How does working and going to school contribute to stress among college students? As well as are factors such as depression, overwhelm, body image problems, or anxiety would affect ones grade point average during the academic school year. The affects of working while in college varies by the type of job held: full-time versus part-time. Negative effects typically occur because of hours spent at work take time away from studying, which may lead to lower grades. But student employment can also be a positive experience.
Some students may gain experience at their job that helps push them harder in the classroom. Many students may also feel as if there is no impact on them physically or mentally by trying to balance a job and school. Within my study, I feel as if a student with no job excels further in academics than students who work at least 20 hours per week. Methods The type of study that was conducted was a survey that consisted of sixteen questions. I got my participants for my survey by asking random people in the Lincoln Park student center cafeteria and I also asked my fellow classmates to complete a survey for me.
I’ve gotten thirty seven DePaul University participants in total. I chose to use this method because it is one of the most popular techniques while doing a quantitative study. I also felt that it would allow my results to be generalized to the population under study. In the survey, there were open ended questions as well as multiple option questions. The first few questions that I asked was to get a good understanding about the student, questions such as: gender, what year the student is, gpa, whether they had a job and the average hours worked per week.
After I completed the surveys, I took the surveys and the answers to the open ended questions and entered the results into SPSS, and from there I drew my conclusion. Results Using SPSS I analyzed frequencies and cross tabs which included the percentage difference, chi-square, and correlation. The frequencies that I included were as follows; grade level, which showed that I surveyed eleven freshman, five sophomores, five juniors, fourteen seniors, and two graduate students. The highest grade level of results received was of seniors. Another frequency completed was of a participant’s grade point average.
I divided the categories in three sections which included 1. 0-1. 9, 2. 0-2. 9, 3. 0-4. 0. No one reported to having a grade point average below 1. 9, twelve students reported to having a grade point average between 2. 0-2. 9, and the remaining twenty five averaged a grade point between 3. 0-4. 0. To test one of my hypotheses I did a cross tab that tested the amount of hours worked per week by the students that were employed in comparison to their grade point average. It was shown to having no significant difference. As shown on graph number eight the students who work forty hours or more averaged a grade point average between 3. 0 and 4. . While those who worked twenty hours or less eight students were shown to have an average gpa of 2. 0-2. 9 and six who averaged 3. 0-3. 9. Although there is a higher number for those who work less hours with a lower gpa but the significance is still low. I also wanted to test whether stress factors such as depression, overwhelm, body image problems, or anxiety would affect ones grade point average. The results that were given also showed no significant difference. What I did find interesting was that the highest number of those that experienced having depression and overwhelm had a higher grade point average (shown in graph 15).
Where in graph 16 shows fourteen participants felt these problems experienced were better when school was not in session. In another cross tabulation study I wanted to test whether having a high amount of pressure affected ones gpa. It was shown to having no significant difference. Shown on graph 11 nine respondents who averaged a grade point between 3. 0-4. 0 felt quite a lot of pressure, eleven felt some, while four felt a great deal of pressure. The chi-square is shown at . 086 where there is no significant difference. Discussion My study did not turn out the way that I had expected.
The only conclusion that I could draw was that the higher the grade point average the likely hood that one would experience a form of stress. In my survey I had an open ended question that asked, what area of your academic life do you find stressful? A lot of the respondents answered in some form of way that were due to financial worries. In Reisberg’s article Student stress is rising, especially among women, he found that 25% of freshman college students reported a probability of getting a full-time job during school, and 77% of students said they would need to work to pay for college.
Reisberg also found that 25% of freshman college students reported a probability of getting a full-time job during school, and 77% of students said they would need to work to pay for college (Reisberg 2000). I feel as though a lot of students stress about tuition expenses because many times they are their only source of income where they have no financial support. Worrying so much about financial issues in turn leads to stress and many times lower grade point averages, but based on my results it is shown different.
From the findings of the survey’s, I found that students who worked more than thirty hours a week had no effect on their grade point average, but that those working part-time their grade point average was lower. Work is becoming increasingly common among students. Although employment generally shows to harm persistence rates, the effects more so depend on hours of work and the degree to which employment removes the student from the campus community. For example, part-time employment work appears to have little negative effect on students’ GPA and in some cases it may have a positive effect.
I found that within my literature review that there has been much discussion weighing the facts of this subject. In an article titled Student stress is rising, especially among women, Reisberg found that 25% of freshman college students reported a probability of getting a full-time job during school, and 77% of students said they would need to work to pay for college. In another article I found titled Sources of stress among college students, Sixty-five out of 100 students reported that holding a job was a source of stress according to Ross, Niebling, and Heckert (1999).
Also in the article titled Health-related variables and academic performance among first-year college students: Implications for sleep and other behaviors, Trockel, Barnes, and Egget (2000) took a random sample of 200 students and found that there was a relationship with the number of hours worked per week and lower grade point averages. Students who have to work are being deprived of study time they would otherwise have. But based on my results I found no significant difference, I found that those that were shown to have worked longer hours had higher grade point averages than those that worked less.
One author from my literature review stated that nearly 50% of all full-time students are working enough hours to hinder their academic experience, including grade performance, class schedule, and class choice (King & Bannon 2002). Fjortoft (1995) reported that “the more time a student devotes to employment, the less he or she has for either academic or social activities. ” On the other hand, Cheung (2004) believed that there was no significant difference between working and nonworking students in their academic and social experiences.
Fjortoft has a great point, one would automatically assume that the more hours a student works the less time they would have to study and complete school assignments. The National Center for Education Statistics researched how working intensity, part-time versus full-time, differs according to enrollment status, student characteristics, and the types of institutions undergraduates attend. The research uses data from the 1989-1990 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study to examine how much undergraduates worked while enrolled in postsecondary education.
According to this report, among full-time, full-year undergraduates, those working only 1-15 hours per week while enrolled were more likely to have high GPA’s, 3. 5 or higher, than were their counterparts who worked more hours. Among undergraduates who initially enrolled full-time, the more hours they worked, the more likely they were to drop their grade point average. Again I would have to say that my results came out differently and showed opposite. Conclusion In conclusion, in my hypotheses I felt as if a student with no job would excel further in academics than students who work at least 20 hours per week my results showed different.
Also, it has been established that moderate amounts of stress help motivate us and, at times, increase our performance. Students working more hours were shown to having a higher gpa. However those that were shown to having higher gpa’s where shown to having more stress related problems which suggest that it may be necessary for college campuses to offer a stress and time management program. Given the effects of stress on ones health and academic performance I believe courses such as freshman orientation should emphasize the apparent problem and address the solution.
Students should be informed of the campus resources available to help them address these resources. Certainly, stress in the college setting cannot be eliminated but we can and should do a better job preparing students to manage it. This possibility should be investigated in future research. Given that my sample was from DePaul University campus only, future research should verify my findings with a more diverse sample.
Page Cheung, Su. How to Deal with stress. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004 Fjortoft, C. Ward. An Examination of the Relationship Among Academic Stress, Coping, Motivation, and Performance in College. ” Research in Higher Education. Oct (1995). Vol. 41 Issue 5, p581. Meeker, Shannon E. “Sources of Stress Among College Students. ” College Student Journal. June (2006). Vol. 33, Issue 2 Reisberg, L. (2000). Student stress is rising, especially among women. Chronicle of Higher Education, 46, A49-50. Trockel, M. T. , Barnes, M. D. , & Egget, D. L. (2000). Health-related variables and academic performance among first-year college students: Implications for sleep and other behaviors. Journal of American College Health, 49, 125-131.