Mental Health: Global Challenges of XXI Century
Stress Resistance in the Structure of Individual Psychological Characteristics of Students

(Iryna Martyniuk)

National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine


Introduction. Faced with various stressors in everyday life, a person evaluates their and his/her own coping resources, changes something in external reality or in the representations in his/her own consciousness, regulates his/her behavior. At the same time, the power of expression of behavioral reactions and its vector is largely due to the stress resistance of the individual.

In modern psychological literature, stress is considered as a structural-functional, dynamic, integrative trait of a person as a result of the transactional process of a collision of an individual with a stress-inducing factor that accommodates the process of self-regulation, cognitive representation, an objective characterization of the situation and the requirements for a person (according to V. Korolchuk, 2009). It is also a measure of stress tolerance of a human, the basis of its successful social interaction, which is characterized by emotional stability, low level of anxiety, high level of self-regulation, psychological readiness for stress (according to R. Kupriyanov, Yu Kuzmin, 2012). This is an integrative trait of a person characterized by such interaction of emotional, conative, intellectual and motivational components of human mental activity that ensure the optimal successful achievement of the goal of activity in a complex emotional environment (according to N. Brezhnev, 2012). Stress resistance provides the individual with the ability to withstand significant mental, physical, conative and emotional stress, while maintaining the efficiency of functioning (according to M. Belova, 2007).

Explaining the relationship between stress and individual psychological characteristics of the individual, scientists hold to the idea of the possibility of formation and development of this characteristics.

From the above it follows that the significant step in the development of stress resistance of a person is the student’s age as a period of intensive professional development of the individual.

Purpose. In order to study the peculiarities of students’ stress resistance, we conducted an empirical study. Its tasks included the following: 1) to find out the level of development of stress respondents, 2) compare the level of stress resistance of students of different courses, and 3) to find out the relationship of stress resistance with other individual psychological characteristics of the individual.

Methodology. In order to determine the level of students’ stress resistance, the method "Forecast" according to V. Bodrov was chosen, which makes it possible to find out the level of person’s neuro-psychological stability (high, good, satisfactory, unsatisfactory) and the risk of its disadaptation in stress (favorable or unfavorable prognosis of behavior in a stressful situation).

To find out the relationship between stress and other important individual and psychological characteristics of students as subjects of educational activity and professional development, a number of techniques were identified: short indicative test, method of revealing communicative and organizational skills, methodology for diagnosing the orientation of educational motivation T. Dubovitskaya, Self-actualization test, A. Karpov’s questionnaire of reflexivity, Purpose in life test in Leontyev’s modification, author’s questionnaires "My self-educational activity", "Experimental situations" and "I am learning a profession" (for studying the peculiarities of self-education activity and readiness for it).

The study was conducted during 2017-2018 among the students of the I-V courses of the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatiuk National Pedagogical University, Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University.

Results and Discussion. The results of the study, obtained from a sample of 249 students, indicated that the significant number of students under the study were with low levels of stress resistance (25%) and very few of them with high level (1%) and good level (17%) of neuropsychiatric resistance (see Table 1.3- 1.5). Most students under the study (57%) have satisfactory neuromuscular stability, in which they can be effective only in those stressful circumstances that do not become extreme.

Such a pattern is observed among students of all courses: in each course, the percentage of students with a satisfactory neuro-psychological resistance prevails; in each course, a significant proportion of people have unsatisfactory neuro-psychological resistance (34% in 1M, 10% in 2M, 26 in 3 months) %, on the 4th – 27.5%, on 1-2m year of study in the magistracy – 25%), which makes an unfavorable forecast of their state of health and behavior in stressful situations. The analysis of average values of indicators of stress resistance of students of different courses allows to conclude that there are no differences in the level of its development, depending on the degree of professional formation and to suggest assumptions about its possible dependence on individual and psychological characteristics of the subject.

To analyze the relationship between stress resistance and individual psychological characteristics of the students under the study, the r-Spirman correlation coefficient was used, which made it possible to detect a very weak statistically significant relationship between students’ stress and their general mental abilities (r = -0.155, p≤0.05), internal motivation of the study (r = -0.154, p≤0.05), motivational readiness for self-education (r = -0.135, p≤0.05), as well as a weak statistically significant relationship between students’ stress and their communicative (r = -0.299, p≤0, 01), organizational abilities (r = -0.219, p≤0.01), need for cognition (r = -0.238, p≤0.01), meaningfulness of life (r = -0.472, p≤0.01).

Correlation matrix, obtained using the IBM SPSS Statistics 24 program, shows the existence of interrelationships between the individual and psychological characteristics of the subjects. In order to distinguish the typical individual psychological characteristics of stress-resistant students (whose level of neuromuscular stability is high, good or satisfactory), a factor analysis of the primary statistical data was performed (using the IBM SPSS Statistics 24 program), followed by the use of the methods of the main components and the varimax-rotate.

The analysis of individual psychological characteristics of stress-resistant students revealed 5 main components that describe 67.132% dispersion. According to the matrix of factor analysis data, the most important (with the value ≥ 0.7) individual-psychological characteristics are distinguished by each factor: 1) readiness for self-education (0,810); 2) communicative (0,844) and organizational skills (0,706); 3) internal motivation of studying (0,737); and motivational readiness for self-education (0,754); 4) need for knowledge (0,859) 5) reflexivity (0,856).

Limitations and strengths of the study. The received percentages of students according to levels of stress resistance can be different in other samples. Research of stress resistance was carried out only according to one method. Studying the stress resistance of students was not investigated. The revealed correlations of stress-resistance and individual-psychological characteristics of students are weak. The typical individual-psychological characteristics of stress-resistant students are found.

Practical/Social value. Purposeful development of students with isolated individual and psychological characteristics will enhance their sustainability in stressful situations.

Originality/Conclusions. Students have various levels of stress resistance. Students of different courses are not distinguished from each other according to their level of stress. Stress resistance of students is related to their individual and psychological characteristics as subjects of educational activity and professional formation. Typical individual and psychological characteristics of stress-resistant students are well-developed readiness for self-education, communicative and organizational skills, internal motivation of learning and motivation for self-education, the need for knowledge, reflexivity.


Keywords: mental stress, students, personality traits, resistance, university education.

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