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Psychological Distress, Coping and Perceived Social Support in Social Work Students

Vungkhanching, Martha and Tonsing, Jenny C. and Tonsing, K.N. (2016) Psychological Distress, Coping and Perceived Social Support in Social Work Students. British Journal of Social Work, TBC . pp. 1-15. ISSN 0045-3102

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The purpose of this study was to assess psychological distress, perceived social support and effective coping strategies among undergraduate students enrolled in social work programme, and to identify the factors that impact psychological distress. Data were collected from 234 junior (third-year) and senior-year (fourth-year) undergraduate social work students from a large public university in central California. Data on demographics,psychological distress (in terms of depression, anxiety and stress), coping and perceived social support were collected voluntarily through survey questionnaires. The sample reported moderate levels of depression and anxiety and a fairly high level of perceived social support. Perceived social support was negatively correlated with depression,anxiety and stress. Female students reported utilizing more emotion-focused and problem-focused coping strategies compared with male students. Avoidant coping emerged as a significant predictor for psychological distress. Students in junior year reported lower perceived social support and higher mean scores on psychological distress compared to students in senior year. The current findings demonstrate the importance of enhancing social support and encouraging positive strategies of coping among social work students. The importance of enhancing support among students to cope with the stress and pressure of academic demands are highlighted. Implications for social work educators and administrators are discussed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jenny Tonsing
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 04:34
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 04:34

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