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Academic Performance Assignment: An Article Review


Task: Chooseya is a first-year international student studying at university in Australia. She recently received her first semester results, which were not good, with a fail in one unit. Chooseya feels that she too stressed and not capable of completing her three-year degree program. A friend of Chooseya’s - Joanne - encourages her to pick herself up emotionally and to continue to peruse her studies. Joanne feels that failing a unit in your first semester of university can be due to many factors. Joanne decides to search for literature on how stress affects academic grades in university students, in an effort to support her friend.
Clinical question
Does stress affect academic performance in university students?


As per the case study considered in the academic performance assignment, Chooseya, an international student of a university in Australia, loses her confidence after failing in one unit in the first semester, and now she doubts herself on completing her three years degree course. The stress of failing in academic performance is so severe that even her friend Joanne’s encouragement does not affect. Stress is a feeling of physical, mental, and emotional tension. In every stage of the human life cycle, stress has its adverse or positive effects (Sies, Berndt & Jones 2017). Here the impact of stress on the academic performance of this university student will be discussed on the basis of the given article, “Understanding stress as an impediment to academic performance”, written by Frazier, Gabriel, Merians and Lust, (2019).

What are the effects of stress on academic performance of university students outlined in the context of academic performance assignment?
The researchers observed that stress is a very common impediment that influences the academic performance of college students. Hence, they decided to examine whether this perception of stress is accurate or not in education. In this context of academic performance assignment, the researchers also tried to identify demographic as well as psychological factors that can differentiate students’ perception that how stress can influence their performance. They also intended to observe how stress can influence the relationship between demographic and psychological factors and grade point average (GPA) of those students. For analysis on academic performance assignment, the considered total of 8997 undergraduate students across 20 midwestern schools. Primary research has been conducted on participants for collecting data on academic performance, demographic information, cumulative GPA and psychological factors. Based on the collected data, researchers tried to assess perceived barriers to the academic performance of those students. From analysis, researchers obtained that students, whose performance was affected by stress, got lower GPAs. They also reported higher stress with comparatively lower self-efficiency, social support and reliance. On the other side, male, ethnic-minority and heterosexual students reported less regarding stress though they did not have higher GPAs. Thus, from the entire analysis, researchers concluded that stress varied among students depending on the psychosocial factor.

It is seen in this academic performance assignment that the ethnic students sometimes do not identify the level of stress they are having. But their grades are lower than the regular students. Stress affects more when the individual does not have enough resources from interpersonal and intrapersonal relations, and living in an unknown society cannot provide much self-efficiency and mental strength that can cause impediments to their academic performance (Levy et al., 2016, p.2). Stress will affect their physical ability, mental strength, and emotional stability that will cause very dearly and affect their studies (Wahed & Hassan 2017). The students will be less accepting and their performance will deteriorate.

Along with this case study outlined in the context of academic performance assignment, the research outcomes of other researchers are also considered. Stress can create anxiety among the students that will affect their academic performance as they will lose confidence and will start to get depressed (Schönfeld et al., 2016). According to Bedewy and Gabriel (2015), to get better academic performance, the stress factors need to be reduced. They analysed that almost every perception regarding academic stress and they also tried to find the sources of the stress among university students. To become future-ready and confident the students of the university should not be driven by stress rather than by their own will.

After researching the effect of the stress among university students Joanne finds out the most relevant analysis. According to Frazier, Gabriel, Merians, and Lust (2019), there are some effects of stress among university students. They have interpreted the psychological and demographic elements to understand the effects of stress on the academic performance of university students. Their survey has proven that social support, self-efficiency, and resiliency affect the stress level of the students. According to their findings obtained in the academic performance assignment, many students confirmed they are stressed but that does not affect their academic performance, and have better grades than the other students who claimed that they do not have any kind of stress. Some other students with a major level of stress have a lower level of academic grades followed by mental health issues and sleeping disorders (Richardson et al., 2012, p.1). On the other hand, according to demographic analysis gender differences define the stress level as the male students are claimed to be less stressed than the females. Though the female student’s scores are better than males. Furthermore, the students of the sexual minority have a negative relationship between their academic performances and level of stress. After controlling all the factors, ethnic students do not replicate in the analysis. They have also found out that the ethnic students and the first-generation students score lower, though they do not report stress as the reason. Some students are claiming that stress is affecting their academic score negatively as they can do better, but in reality, their performances are much better than others. this scenario is proving that stress is a psychological factor.

Most of the students will confirm that stress has negative effects on their academic performance. But after cumulative analysis, it is seen in the case study that the lower or moderate level of stress has a positive relationship while the higher level of stress has the opposite reaction. Also, the students who are affecting negatively have less self-efficiency, adjusting capability, social support, and resilience. These factors mentioned in the academic performance assignment will reduce the chances of getting affected by stress on the students’ academic performances. However demographic characteristics have a different relationship with stress regarding the academic scores. Therefore, to understand the impacts, both perspectives are needed to be analysed in detail. Hence, after analysing the effects of stress briefly on university students, it can be concluded that stress can severely affect the academic performance of the students. The pressure of doing better or the fear of facing failures have stressed them so much that they are losing their focus from the study. So, in conclusion section of academic performance assignment, it can be stated that without stress the university students will be more focused and could be able to perform academically at their level best. Moreover, stress is a psychological factor that varies among students depending on their demographic and psychological aspects.

Bedewy, D., & Gabriel, A. (2015). Examining perceptions of academic stress and its sources among university students: The Perception of Academic Stress Scale. Health psychology open, 2(2), 2055102915596714.

Frazier, P., Gabriel, A., Merians, A., & Lust, K. (2019). Understanding stress as an impediment to academic performance. Journal of American College Health, 67(6), 562-570.DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2018.1499649

Levy DJ, Heissel JA, Richeson JA, Adam EK. (2016). Psychological and biological responses to race-based social stress as pathways to disparities in educational outcomes. Am Psychol.71(6):455–473. doi:10.1037/a0040322

Richardson M, Abraham C, Bond R. (2012). Psychological correlates of university students’ academic performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Academic performance assignment Psychol Bull. 138(2):353–387. doi:10.1037/a0026838

Schönfeld, P., Brailovskaia, J., Bieda, A., Zhang, X. C., &Margraf, J. (2016). The effects of daily stress on positive and negative mental health: Mediation through self-efficacy. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 16(1), 1-10.

Sies, H., Berndt, C., & Jones, D. P. (2017). Oxidative stress. Annual review of biochemistry, 86, 715-748.

Wahed, W. Y. A., & Hassan, S. K. (2017). Prevalence and associated factors of stress, anxiety and depression among medical Fayoum University students. Alexandria Journal of medicine, 53(1), 77-84.


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