Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Impact of academic stressors predicts depressive symptoms in medical students over and above personal stressors.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Erin O'Reilly, Kathy G. McNeill, Kenneth I. Mavor, Katrina Anderson

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Background:
Medical school is a challenging environment that requires students to deal effectively with stress borne out of the medical education environment, as well as their personal lives. Previous research has not systemically distinguished between academic and personal sources of stress, and in particular has not explored the independent contribution that academic stressors make to medical student depression.
Purposes:
This study aimed to investigate whether academic stressors make a unique contribution to the level of depressivesymptoms in medical students, over and above the contribution made by personal stressors alone. Methods
:
Sixty-seven medical students completed an online questionnaire designed to measure the total number of recent life events (personal and academic), and their perceived impact, using a modified version of the Psychiatric Epidemiology
Research Interview Life Events Scale. Depressive symptoms were measured
using the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Results
:
Both the total number of personal stressors, r(67) = .363, p = .003, and their perceived impact, r(67) = .412, p = .001, were found to be positively related to depressive symptoms. A positive relationship was also observed between depressive symptoms and the total number of academic stressors, r(67) = .321, p = .008, and their perceived impact, r(67) = .489, p< .001. In addition, it was found that the perceived impact of academic stressors was able to explain higher levels of depressive symptoms in medical students over and above the effect afforded by personal stressors alone. Conclusion
:
The findings of this study suggest that stress borne out of the medical school environment contributes to depressive symptoms in medical students over and above the contribution made by personal stressors alone. This indicates that
although it is important to help students cope with stress borne out of
their personal lives, interventions by medical schools aimed at reducing
the impact of academic stressors on medical student depression may also
be of great importance.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Volume26
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jan 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Research areas

  • Medical students, Personal and academic stressors, Depression, Stress, Life events

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. ‘That’s not funny!’ Standing up against disparaging humor

    Thomas, E., McGarty, C., Spears, R., Livingstone, A., Platow, M., Lala, G. & Mavor, K., 30 Oct 2019, In : Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 86, 103901.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Social identification and academic performance: integrating two existing models of tertiary student learning

    Smyth, L., Mavor, K. I. & Platow, M. J., 3 Apr 2019, In : Educational Psychology. 39, 3, p. 409-425 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Social identification and normative conflict: when student and educator learning norms collide

    Smyth, L., Chandra, V. & Mavor, K. I., 6 Jun 2018, In : Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 48, 6, p. 293-303 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Learning behaviour and learning outcomes: the roles for social influence and field of study

    Smyth, L., Mavor, K. I. & Platow, M. J., Mar 2017, In : Social Psychology of Education. 20, 1, p. 69-95 27 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 46779272

Top