Sources of stress, coping strategies and counselling needs, among university students in Kingdom of Bahrain
The aim of this study was: (1) to identify the main sources of stress that affect students' level of stress, students' coping strategies and their counselling needs. (2) To identify the relationship between sources of stress and coping strategies. (3) The effect of gender and Locality on sources of stress, level of stress, coping strategies and counselling needs. This study utilised both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Two hundred university students, represented by 80 female and 120 males, completed a constructed and standardised sources of stress questionnaire. A constructed and standardised questionnaire was used to measure students' needs for counselling. In addition, a translated and standardised Coping Strategies questionnaire by Lazarus and Folkman (1988) was used to measure the types of coping strategies used by the students. A translated standardised Perceived Stress questionnaire by Cohen et at (1983) was used to measure the level of stress. Reliability analysis revealed that the overall instrument demonstrated high reliability and validity. Findings revealed the different levels of importance that each source of stress and coping strategy was perceived to have had on students, this result indicated that students identified time management as the most frequent sources of stress, followed by religious and ethical, then the academic domains. The family domain was considered to be the source of least stress experienced by university students. In addition, the coping strategies reported to be used most by these students is accepting responsibility followed by positive reappraisal, then problem solving. Escape avoidance and distancing strategies were reported as less used strategies. It was found that financial issues had a significant effect on social support and problem solving coping strategies. Religion had a significant effect on the strategy of accepting responsibilities. Personal issues had a significant effect on the escape avoidance strategy. While, academic stress, in particular, has a significant effect on several coping strategies. Gender had a significant effect on level of stress from two sources of stress: Religious/Ethical and Personal stress, and one coping strategy: Escape avoidance. Females reported higher levels of stress, higher levels of sources of stress, and higher reported coping strategy use than males. Locality had a significant effect on counselling needs; Non- Homestudents experience more need for counselling than Home- students. Locality had a significant effect on. The mean use of coping strategies was greater for non- home students than Home- students. The results from this study suggest that university students do experience a significant level of stressful life events. Therefore, it is important that counsellors and teachers address the impact of stressful life events on a university student's well being. Conducting ongoing assessments of the level of stress experienced by university students might help counsellors or teachers intervene earlier and hence target better services to the population of students. Also, considering the unique sources for minority students, counsellors or teachers more appropriately should target unique interventions to meet their needs. The study also provides information that could help to reduce stress among university setting as it might be used as a reference point for counsellors, teachers, researcher when investigating university students stress and coping experience in Kingdom of Bahrain or any other Arabic country. The current constructed stress sources and counselling needs questionnaire could be also used by the researcher interested in this area.