Stress And Coping Styles In Japanese Nursing Students

Stress And Coping Styles In Japanese Nursing Students


TOC o “1-3” h z u HYPERLINK l “_Toc380136301” Introduction PAGEREF _Toc380136301 h 1

HYPERLINK l “_Toc380136302” Aim, Participants and Sampling Method used PAGEREF _Toc380136302 h 1

HYPERLINK l “_Toc380136303” Instruments used PAGEREF _Toc380136303 h 2

HYPERLINK l “_Toc380136304” Data analysis PAGEREF _Toc380136304 h 3

HYPERLINK l “_Toc380136305” Results of the study PAGEREF _Toc380136305 h 4

HYPERLINK l “_Toc380136306” Importance of the study: overall conclusion and recommendation PAGEREF _Toc380136306 h 5

HYPERLINK l “_Toc380136307” Further research PAGEREF _Toc380136307 h 6


Stress has been a common occurrence among most people. Students all over the world have reported varying degrees of stress emanating from different situations. On the same note, they have been employing different techniques in an effort to eliminate the stress. Needless to say, numerous researches and studies have been carried out to determine the stressors that students encounter, their variations, as well as the different coping techniques that students employ. These studies are documented in volumes of literature such as “Stress and coping styles in Japanese nursing students” by Yamashita K, Saito M, and Takao T. The title is clear and concise as to exactly what the study will be examining, as it underline the fact that the paper will circle around Japanese Nursing students in an effort to determining their sources of stress, as well as the techniques they employ in coping with the same.

Aim, Participants and Sampling Method usedThe study aimed at query-describing the causes of stress among nursing students in Japan, as well as examining the coping styles that these students applied in case of stress. These coping styles would then be compared between non-distressed and distressed nursing students (Yamashita et al, 2012, pp. 490). The study outlined was carried out using population derived from seven nursing schools that had a total population of 1428 students. On the whole, a total of 1370 students took part in the study with 1324 of them completing the survey. It is worth noting that the participants were informed about the study before they took part in it and even signed a written informed consent form (Yamashita et al, 2012, pp. 490). As much as the study involved the entire population in these schools, the choice of this population is not properly explained. Why, for example, did the research circle around these schools among the various nursing schools in Japan? On the same note, the journal does not have a clear hypothesis that will be proved right or wrong by the study. A hypothesis is essentially a presumptive statement pertaining to a proposition that the study seeks to prove. It is the composition of variables that comes with a specific role or position that is to be empirically verified. Given that a hypothesis connects the theory to the empirical study providing a guideline for the exploration of the study, the deficiency or unclear nature of the same in the study leaves the reader grappling with the varied options or ideas as to what exactly the study explores. On the same note, the study involves the use of other scholars’ works so as to provide a background for the same. A large number of the background literature used is recent, written in the 21st century with a few of them going to the 90’s, 80’s and even the 70’s. The use of current literature underlines the applicability of the study and the information presented.

Instruments usedIn addition, the research used both open-ended and close-ended questionnaires to obtain data pertaining to socio-demographic factors, after which the participants completed the Brief COPE scale and the GHQ-12. The researchers, while acknowledging the reliability and validity of Japanese GHQ-12 scale, recognized the lack of clarity on the generalizability of such findings to young people in other areas as the GHQ-12 scale threshold scores may vary with the sample used. The GHQ-12 scale has been shown as extremely reliable and valid as the 30 item scale (Luo & Wang, 2009, pp. 7). In essence, two cut-off points were used to increase the specificity. This is the same case for the Brief Cope Scale, whose reliability and validity has previously been tested and found commendable for Cronbach alphas between 0.50 and 0.90, thereby showing internal validity for the instrument. In essence, the validity and reliability of the instrument in the current study is unquestionable as the value of Cronbach Alpha was 0.79 (Yamashita et al, 2012, pp. 490). This data was then analyzed using SPSS version 20.

Data analysis

The data thus analyzed is presented in well-named and relatively easy to understand tables. These tables present the participants’ social-demographic features as a percentage including features such as gender, living with family, commute time, regular exercise, breakfast every day, good sleep, part-time job, feeling stressed and seeking social support. The statistics pertaining to these social-demographic features are presented as percentages. For example, stressed individuals make up 984 (or 74.3% of the population), while those seeking social support total 877 (or 66.2%) of the interviewed population. The tables show that examinations were the key source of stress accounting for 26.1%, while relations with friends took up 15.6%, as well as 12.3% and 11.5% for clinical practice respectively. Surprisingly, few students (2.7%) were stressed by relationship with lovers, despite the fact that friends were some of the highest stressors for the participants. This discrepancy is cemented by the fact that fewer participants obtained social support from their lovers than from their friends. Most of the participants obtained social support from friends (61.7%) and their mothers (25%), and rarely would they get the same from their teachers and fathers. On the same note, the data presented reveals that most of the participants coped with stress by sleeping (22.7%) or talking to someone (20.0%) with a few of them taking up exercises (4.5%), karaoke (7.6%) and shopping (7.8%). Most nursing students adopted acceptance, self distraction and the use of instrumental support as their coping style, while few took up substance abuse, denial, religion and humor.

Results of the study

Borrowing from previous studies, the researchers acknowledged the close relationship between sleep and depression. This study, however, showed that both quantity and quality of sleep have a bearing on the stress state of an individual, with the most appropriate range of hours being between 7 and 8 hours. On the same note, participants who partake breakfast daily had a lower GHQ-12 compared to individuals who did not. A regression analysis showed an association between daily consumption of breakfast with GHQ scale, which underlines the fact that stress may be a predisposing characteristic in indication of eating behaviors. Of particular interest is the fact that the individuals living alone showed lower levels of stress than individuals who live with their parents. This may especially be because of interpersonal strife with family members, as well as concerns pertaining to troubled family members and friends, or relationship difficulty. Considering the relationship between eating behaviors and stress, the study underlined the fact that not only are stressful incidents making up daily problems the key stimuli for psychological stress but they may also harm an individual’s health (Yamashita et al, 2012, pp. 494). Nevertheless, physical activities protect an individual against depression as the present study showed a considerable association with GHQ-12 on the basis of regular exercise. The present study showed participants who engaged in regular exercise as having low GHQ-12 score compared to participants who did not.

Importance of the study: overall conclusion and recommendation

This study comes as incredibly comprehensive in examining, as well as presenting the sources of stress. Its information is presented in simple and easy-to-understand format without compromising on the comprehensiveness of the information and study. Of course, there are varied limitations underlined in the study. These include inability to form conclusions on causality thanks to its cross-sectional design, inability to allow for generalizations even within the nursing field thanks to the use of few and considerably “exclusive” participants. On the same note, it acknowledges that the instruments used in assessing coping styles may not have been comprehensive enough. These limitations, however, do not negate the crucial nature and applicability of the findings not only in the nursing field but in other areas, as well. These findings come in handy especially with regard to determining indicators that an individual is stressed up even before they speak up. Eating habits can make up quite commendable indicators as research by Hsiao et al (2010, pp. 1613) revealed. In most cases, stressed up individuals are likely to skip meals including breakfast, lunch or even supper especially in instances where such meals are taken in the same environments from which their stress emanates. These may, in fact, be prime indicators of underlying issues, as well as predictors of worse behavior especially touching on suicide or deliberate self-harm (Nashida et al, 2010, pp. 305). On the same note, the study comes in handy in informing school administrators, as well as parents (especially fathers) as to the need to change their contact or relationship with their kids. Questions undoubtedly arise as to why mothers and friends would be more preferable to individuals when they want to share their issues with someone. This could primarily be a matter of the relationship that exists between the two people as in most cases, individuals are closer to their mothers than their fathers (Burgess et al, 2010 pp.136).

Further researchHowever, further research would be needed with participants being derived from different fields or even different countries. The study acknowledged that the results could not be generalized even within the nursing field thanks to the small sample. On the same note, other studies have shown that individuals in different countries may have different styles for coping with stress (Burgess et al, 2010 pp.133). Further studies could be done with regard to the effectiveness of these strategies. How different are the styles of coping within different fields and what factors influence individuals in choosing them. As the researchers note, it would be enlightening to have longitudinal studies that examine the changes or variations in distress among students, as well as their copping styles right from the time they are registered so as to prevent depression. On the whole, nevertheless, the study outlined in the article forms a basis for determining instances when nursing students are likely to be most stressed, the indicators that individuals should look out for, as well as the strategies that would be likely to be effective in combating such stress.


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Hsiao YC, Chien LY, Wu LY, Chiang CM, Huang SY, 2010, Spiritual health, clinical practice stress, depressive tendency and health-promoting behaviours among nursing students. Journal of Advanced Nursing; 66: 1612–1622.

Nishida A, Sasaki T, Nishimura Y, Tanii H, Hara N, Inoue K, Yamada T, Takami T, Shimodera S, Itokawa M, Asukai N & Okazaki Y, 2010, Psychotic-like experiences are associated with suicidal feelings and deliberate self-harm behaviors in adolescents aged 12–15 years. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica; 121: 301–307.

Luo Y & Wang H, 2009, Correlation research on psychological health impact on nursing students against stress, coping way and social support. Nurse Education Today; 29: 5–8.

Yamashita K, Saito M, Takao T, 2012, Stress and coping styles in Japanese nursing students. International Journal of Nursing Practice; 18: 489–496

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