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Perceived stress, self-efficacy, optimism, and social support: A study of Irish law enforcement officers and college students.

Higgins, Glynn (2016) Perceived stress, self-efficacy, optimism, and social support: A study of Irish law enforcement officers and college students. Undergraduate thesis, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Objective: The current study aimed to compare stress levels between two apparent highly stressed groups. College students are generally perceived to be a high stress group although little research has offered a context to evaluate this claim. An abundant amount of research has recognised law enforcement to be one of the most stressful occupations. Thereby, comparing college students and law enforcement officers stress levels will provide a badly needed context to college student’s stress. Methods: This study consisted of 813 participants including 516 college students and 297 law enforcement officers. Participants were measured on their levels of perceived stress, self-efficacy, optimism, amount of social support, and social support satisfaction. Results: College students scored significantly higher in levels of perceived stress and significantly lower in self-efficacy and optimism than law enforcement officers. Females also scored significantly higher in levels of perceived stress and significantly lower in self-efficacy and optimism. Self-efficacy and optimism were also found to be significantly strong predictors of perceived stress. Conclusions: Findings from this study point out that college student’s experience a substantial amount of stress as the results indicate they have significantly greater stress levels than one of the most stressful occupations. These findings should be further examined as they highlight the presence of a major risk for an already highly vulnerable population.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > Police. Garda.
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Stress (Psychology)
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Tim Lawless
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2016 15:19
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2016 15:19
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/2212

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