What stresses university students: An interview investigation of the demands of tertiary studies

Vicki Bitsika, Christopher F. Sharpley, Vira Rubenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Although several previous scales have been developed to measure the presence and effects of the stressful demands encountered by university students, most of these have been validated with samples drawn from US universities, commonly using only undergraduate psychology students. In addition, many of the items used are from scales designed for application within general adult populations, with little focus upon the specific stressors met by students. In order to identify what are the major changes these students encounter that they find stressful, a sample of 32 university students from different degree areas within an Australian university was individually interviewed using a standardised protocol. Results indicated that (unlike US data) these students found dislocation to family, friend and partner relationships most stressful, followed by the time demands of study and financial restrictions. Limitations of the study, future research directions and implications for counsellors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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