Is there a difference in stress factors between
college athletes and non-athletes?
Statement and Purpose of the Problem
The move from high school to college is one of life’s major moments, however many do not comprehend the stresses that accompany this vast transformation in education. This paper has been developed to gain greater insight into the stresses that college students face and endeavor to determine if athletes and non-athletes differ in the way that they perceive and experience stress.
Significance of the Problem
Stress has been a rising issue concerning both athletic and non-athletic college students, which has been brought to the public eye increasingly over recent years (Bennett, 2013). Evidence suggests that athletes may experience even greater levels of stress due to the demands of balancing both sporting and academic achievements (Wilson & Pritchard, 2005). The news of an ever-increasing amount of college student suicides has brought rise to the issue of is college too stressful for young adults to cope with, and is there excessive pressure being applied to students for them to achieve their optimal in everything they do?
Background of the Problem
Current research supports the reasoning that college presents students with highly stressful situations and pressures (McCleod, 2002). Lazarus and Folkman (1996) defined stress as the undesirable sentiment that occurs when an individual feels incapable of coping with the demands that are placed upon them. Although researchers acknowledge that collegiate athletics can serve as a stress reliever in some cases (Hudd et al., 2000; Kimball & Freysinger, 2003; Kudlacek, 1997; Shirka, 1997), studies also suggest that athletic participation at such a competitive level can become an additional stressor that traditional college students do not experience (Kimball & Freysinger, 2003; Papanikolaou, Nikolaidis, Patsiaouras, & Alexopoulos, 2003).