Perceived stress in university students studying in a further education college

Matthew P. Shaw, Daniel Peart, Orrin Fairhead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Previous research investigating perceived stress and mental health in UK University students have used a sample population from Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), and to the authors’ knowledge, there is no literature specifically examining stress in a student population within a higher education-in-further education environment (HE-in-FE). The aim of the current study was to address this gap in the literature by investigating the perceived stress of HE-in-FE students. 94 participants (age = 28.7 ± 9.6 years) completed the perceived stress scale (PSS-10) with a mean score of 17.9 (± 7.2). The unidimensional measure was correlated with various demographical characteristics including age, sex, employment, self-directed study time, and time spent caring for others (e.g. children). Findings are comparable to investigations that have previously used students at HEIs, it can be suggested that despite the different context in which HE-in-FE students complete their HE study, and the ‘untraditional’ demographic from which they come, levels of perceived stress appear to be comparable to the ‘traditional’ undergraduate. Further analysis revealed significantly greater perceived stress in female students and it is recommended that future work employs a mixed methods approach to further examine the implications and possible reasons for this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-452
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2017


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