Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Doug Eury

Abstract

Impact of Stress-Coping Strategies on Perceived Stress, Intrinsic Motivation, and Self-Efficacy Levels of Students. Hudson, Tanya M., 2013: Dissertation, Gardner-Webb University, Stress/Coping/Adolescents/ Motivation/ Self-Efficacy/Stress-Coping Strategies Stress-coping strategies are identified by researchers as conditions used suitable to a situation when adolescents have a change in their environment or a stressor that they cannot control. The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the impact of stress-coping strategies on perceived stress levels, levels of intrinsic motivation, and self-efficacy. According to the research, stress results from an imbalance between the requirements of the environment and one's ability to cope with it (Aldwin, 2007). The inquiry was conducted in a high school of convenience where the researcher had access to the students available to participate in this mixed-method design. The use of suitable coping strategies depends on several factors. Three researched-based stress-coping strategies were examined. Emotion-focused, avoidance-focused, and problem-focused skills were implemented into the study, and focus groups were used to embed the quantitative findings into the qualitative survey results. Research has shown that adolescents often benefit when they can combine one or more coping strategies to address the stressor. Since strategies have benefits and costs associated with them, it is necessary to identify the long-lasting stressors adolescents face in order to find a response related to or based on the context of the stressor. The descriptive analysis of the presurvey and postsurvey, implementation of strategies, and open-ended discussion data collected were analyzed to determine the impact stress-coping strategies have on perceived stress levels, intrinsic motivation, and self-efficacy. A Chi-Square Goodness of Fit was used to indicate the distribution of responses along with the percentage of agreement between respondents on the whole item. The researcher combined three instruments into one survey to measure the students' perceived stress levels, levels of intrinsic motivation, and self-efficacy. The presurvey and postsurvey design was performed to determine a correlation in these three variables. The data from the quantitative and qualitative design combined were used to answer the three questions and to review any possible correlations of the three variables to determine a relationship using a Pearson correlation and t test. Results, strengths of the study, and limitations are discussed in the final dissertation.