Predictive role of problem focused coping in the psychological well being of university students

Journal:
July-December 2014 Volume 11(2)

Original Article

Author(s):
Uzma Ali, Noshi Iram Zaman
Page No:
23

PREDICTIVE ROLE OF PROBLEM FOCUSED COPING IN THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL BEING OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

­­

Noshi Iram Zaman 1 Uzma Ali2

aPhD Fellow, Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Karachi

118,Block 20 Abul Asar Hafeez Jalindhri Road, Gulistan-e-Jauher Karachi, 75290, Pakistan

bAssociate Professor, Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Karachi

118,Block 20 Abul Asar Hafeez Jalindhri Road, Gulistan-e-Jauher Karachi, 75290, Pakistan

 

ABSTRACT

Objective: The study aims to investigate the predictive role of problem focused coping in the psychological well-being of students of Karachi University, Pakistan.

Study Design: Correlational research design.

Place and Duration of Study: Different departments of University of Karachi, Pakistan were selected by systematic random sampling during the year 2013-2014.

Methodology: A sample of 105 university students (males 51 & females 55) with the age range of 19 to 35 years (mean age= 24.85; SD=.489) belonging to different socioeconomic status was selected from university of Karachi, Pakistan. After taking permission from HODs of concerned departments, demographic information form, Coping Styles Scale and Psychological Well-Being Scale were administered on participants in the group settings.

Results: Descriptive statistics and Multiple Regression were computed through SPSS version 14.0. Findings revealed that problem focused coping contributes 18 % variance in psychological well-being of university students.

Conclusion: The use of problem focused coping increases the psychological well-being among university students.

 

Key Words: Problem focused coping, psychological well-being, university Students.

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Students are considered to be a vital part of the potential human resource of any country. University time is fascinating as well as stressful. It entails taking responsibility of one’s learning. Academic stress is positively correlated with depression and physical illness, both of which reduce academic performance and the likelihood of degree completion1. The process of handling stress optimally with best available options is called coping.

Coping is a life long process of trimming down the negative feelings in response to the stressful situations. Coping styles refer to identifiable samples of behavior used to combat the stressors.  Active coping styles by and large are used to alleviate the incapacitated effects of stress. On the contrary, avoidant coping styles are reflected to be less effective and beneficial; a wide variety of researches are congruent with the fact2.

 

Psychological well being refers to an individual’s personal evaluation about his/her life. There are three components of psychological well-being; life satisfaction, positive emotions and negative emotions3. Coping resources highly predict psychological wellness; moreover they act as a shield against depression and anxiety4, 5, 6. A lot of studies have shown the efficacy of use of problem focused coping i.e. active coping, and adaptive coping in a higher degree of psychological wellbeing among students.

 

Earlier work on the subject has highlighted that the college students have coupled active coping strategies with better college adjustment among various racial groups7,8 leading  to healthier psychological well-being among Latinos9. Additionally, it was also found that active coping predicts lower level of psychological symptoms among natives of inner city adolescents in Mexican American10.

In spite of lot of literature available on coping and psychological well-being of adolescents, medical students and clinical population, there exists a gap on the subject in Pakistan with reference to university students.

 

 

METHOD

 

Participants

In the present study the data was collected through systematic random sampling technique. The sample employed in the study was 105 students of University of Karachi, Pakistan. The entire sample included 51 males and 54 females. The age range of the sample was between 19 to 35 years with the mean of 24.85 years.

 

Measures

Demographic Information Form

Demographic Information consisted of variables that gathered personal information, education, and variables related to parents and family.

 

Coping Styles Scale, Urdu version11

The Coping Styles Scale (CSS) is designed for the age group of 18 to 50 years old adults. Coping Styles Scale is self report measure and consisting of 22 items. Each item answered on a five point Likert scale to show the extent to which the item is true for them. The score ranges from 5 “always” to 1 “not at all”11. Coping Styles Scale has high alpha levels for problem focused coping i.e. (. 879) and emotion focused coping i.e. (. 890) respectively12.

 

Psychological Well-Being Scale-Urdu Version13

Psychological Well-Being Scale was originally developed by Ryff (1989) and translated and adapted in the Urdu language by Ansari (2010)13, 14. PWLS consists of 54 items, a theoretically grounded instrument focusing on six dimensions of well-being; autonomy (AUT), environmental mastery (E-M), personal growth (P-G), positive relations with others (P-R), purpose in life (PIL), and self acceptance (S-A). Each dimension included 9 items; half of the items of PWLS are reversed score. The   Cronbach’s alpha of PWLS-Urdu is 0.85313. The   Cronbach’s alpha of PWLS-Urdu on current study is 0.915.

 

PROCEDURE

At the start permission was taken from the chairman/chairpersons of different departments of University of Karachi. A brief introduction about the nature of study was given and the purpose was elaborated to them. Later, a proper schedule was prepared to approach students for administration of scales with the approval of each participant. After taking their consent they were requested to fill the Demographic Information Form, Coping Styles Scale-Urdu and Psychological well-being scale-Urdu. After collecting data, results were entered to SPSS and analyzed.

 

RESULTS

47 % university students are from joint family structure and 30 % from nuclear family structure.  35 % belongs to the Urdu speaking family, 11 % Punjabi, 5 % Sindhi, 4 % Balochi, 1 % Siraiki, 4 % Pashtu and 15 % others. 40 % were married and 37 % were unmarried. The mean number of siblings was 5 in the sample, in which 27 % had 1st birth order, 32 % 2nd birth order and 17 % were last born. The minimum qualification of the entire sample was intermediate level and maximum was Ph. D. Out of N= 105; 58 % student’s both parents were not alive and 19 % student’s both parents were alive (for more details of demographic characteristics of the sample see table 1 & 2).

Our findings show that there is a positive correlation between use of problem focused coping and psychological wellbeing (p <.000**) among university students, indicating that use of problem focused coping predicts psychological well-being among university students. Moreover problem focused coping contributes 18 % variance among psychological well-being of university students (see tables; 3A, 3B, 3C). 

 

Table-1

Socio demographics of the sample                                                                      N= 105

Variables

Mean

Std.

Age

24.85

4.895

Education

3.47

.589

Duration in department

2.588

1.4613

No. of siblings

5.26

2.500

Monthly income

3.11

1.095

 

 

Table-2

 

Summary of findings of demographic variables                                                                                      

Variables

F

Percentages %

Gender

(males)

  51

48.71

 

(females)

 54

51.42

Family structure

(joint)

64

60.95

 

(nuclear)

41

39.04

Parental status

(both parents Alive)

79

75.23

 

(single Parent)

26

24.76

Marital status

(married)

54

51.42

 

(unmarried)

51

48.57

Mother Language

(Urdu)

48

45.71

 

(Punjabi)

15

14.28

 

(Sindhi)

7

6.66

 

(Blochi)

6

5.71

 

(Saraiki)

2

1.90

 

(Pashto)

6

5.71

 

(Others)

21

20

Birth Order

(Ist Born)

37

35.23

 

(Middle Born)

44

41.90

 

(Last Born)

24

22.85

 

 

 

Note:  N =105                                                

 

 

Table- 3A

 

Step wise regression of Problem Focused Coping (PFC) and Psychological Well-Being

R

Adj R²

 

 

 

.424a

.180

.172