Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Major

Nursing RN/BSN Akron

Research Sponsor

Dr. Lori Kidd & Karyn Morgan

First Reader

Lisa Hart

Second Reader

Fiovdaliza Volenik

Abstract

Nursing students experience high levels of stress throughout their college career. When it comes to managing this stress, the use of social support as a coping mechanism may be a factor. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between social support and stress in undergraduate baccalaureate nursing students and to compare social support and stress across levels of education. The study was guided by the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping. This study used a non-experimental descriptive design and a cross-sectional data collection with an online survey. The sample was a convenience sample of second, third, and fourth year nursing students at a large Midwestern public university. Stress was measured with the Student Nurse Stress Index (SNSI) and social support was measured with the Social Support Appraisals (SS-A) Scale. Data was analyzed using a Pearson’s r and ANOVA. This study found that while there was not a significant relationship between stress and social support, students of the senior level had less stress and more social support. These findings implicate that underclassmen may be in need of more support and tutoring early on in the program.

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