Effect of Gender on Stressful Experiences of First Year Students.


  • Peter Aloka Wits School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa 0000-0002-4298-9211




The present study examined the effect of gender on stressful experiences of first year students in one selected public university in Kenya. A cross-sectional survey design was adopted to guide data collection. The participants were one hundred and ninety eight first year students (198) at one university. Quantitative data was obtained using Stress Questionnaire. Inferential analysis by use of independent t-test was used to test hypothesis. The findings indicated that there are significant gender differences in stressful experiences on academic demands, psychological and social relationship and financial difficulties among the first year university students. Therefore, this implies that Dean of students at universities should design support mechanisms to support female students in coping with stressors as new students.


gender, stressful experiences, first year students, public university,


Download data is not yet available.


  1. Aloka, P.J.O. (2022). Gender effects on adjustment among freshmen in one selected public university. International Journal of Social Studies and Educational Studies, 9(3), 16-28.

  2. Aloka, P.J.O. (2022). Birth order differences and overall adjustment among first year undergraduate students in one selected university. Athens Journal of Education, 10, 1-15 https://doi.org/10.30958/aje.X-Y-Z 1

  3. Areșan, D., & Țîru, L. G. (2022). Students satisfaction with the online teaching process. Academicus. International Scientific Journal, 13(25), 184-193.

  4. Bewick, B., Koutsopoulou, G., Miles, J., Slaa, E., & Barkham, M. (2010). Changes in undergraduate students’ psychological well-being as they progress through university. Studies in Higher Education, 35(6), 633–645. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070903216643.

  5. Busari, A.O. (2012). Identifying difference in perceptions of academic stress and reaction to stressors based on gender among first year university students. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2 (14), 138-146.

  6. Chowdhury, U., Suvro, M.A.H., Farhan, S.M.D., & Uddin, M.J. (2022). Depression and stress regarding future career among university students during COVID-19 pandemic. PLoS ONE, 17(4), e0266686. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0266686

  7. Cook, L. (2014). Is the college admissions bubble about to burst? Getting into the right college is more stressful and competitive than ever before. U.S.News, September 22. Available online: https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2014/09/22 /is-the-college-admissions-bubble-about-to-burst (accessed on 7 December 2021).

  8. Copeland, W.E., McGinnis, E., Bai, Y., Adams, Z., Nardone, H., & Devadanam, V. (2020). Impact of COVID on college student mental health and wellness. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry [Internet]. 2020 Oct 19 [cited 2020 Dec 17]; Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856720319882 pmid:33091568

  9. Coughlan, S. (2015). Rising numbers of stressed students seek help. BBCNews. September 30. Available online: https://www.bbc. com/news/education-34354405 (accessed on 7 December 2021).

  10. Dafogianni, C., Pappa, D., Mangoulia, P., Kourti, F.E., Koutelekos, I., Dousis, E., Margari, N., Ferentinou, E., Stavropoulou, A., Gerogianni, G., Fradelos, E., & Zartaloudi, A. (2022). Anxiety, stress and the resilience of university students during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare (Basel), 10(12), 2573. doi:10.3390/healthcare10122573.

  11. Dafogianni, C., Pappa, D., Mangoulia, P., Kourti, F.E., Koutelekos, I., Dousis, E., Margari, N., Ferentinou, E., Stavropoulou, A., & Gerogianni, G. (2022). Anxiety, stress and the resilience of university students during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare, 10, 2573. https://doi.org/10.3390/ healthcare10122573

  12. Elmer, T., Mepham, K., & Stadtfeld, C. (2020). Students under lockdown: Comparisons of students’ social networks and mental health before and during the COVID-19 crisis in Switzerland. PLOS ONE, 15(7), e0236337. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0236337

  13. El Oddi, B., & Knoop, C. I. (2022). Burning up and burning out. Human Sustainability in a Time of Emotional Climate Change. Academicus. International Scientific Journal, 25, 56-74.

  14. Emebigwine, D., Adibone, L., Ntombizodwa, S.B., & Penelope, M. (2023). Objective structured clinical examination: Do first-year nursing students perceive it to be stressful?. Curationis, 46(1), 1-7. https://dx.doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v46i1.2339

  15. Gao, W., Ping, S., & Liu, X. (2020). Gender differences in depression, anxiety, and stress among college students: A longitudinal study from China. Journal of Affective Disorders, 263,292-300. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.11.121.

  16. Garett, R., Liu, S., & Young, S.D. (2017). A longitudinal analysis of stress among incoming college freshmen. Journal of American College Health, 65(5), 331-338. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2017.1312413.

  17. Gefen, D. R., & Fish, M. C. (2012). Gender differences in stress and coping in first-year College students. Journal of College Orientation, Transition, and Retention, 19(2). https://doi.org/10.24926/jcotr.v19i2.2797

  18. Graves, B.S., Hall, M.E., Dias-Karch C., Haischer, M.H., & Apter, C. (2021). Gender differences in perceived stress and coping among college students. PLoS One, 16(8), e0255634. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0255634.

  19. Haque, R. A., & Jahan, B. I. (2023). Mental stress, socioeconomic status, and academic performance: A critical analysis among university students of Bangladesh. IntechOpen. doi: 10.5772/intechopen.109795

  20. Hossain, M.M., Alam, M.A., & Masum, M.H. (2022). Prevalence of anxiety, depression, and stress among students of Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh. Health Science Reports, 5(2), e559. doi: 10.1002/hsr2.559.

  21. Hubbard, K., Reohr, P., Tolcher, L., & Downs, A. (2018). Stress, mental health symptoms, and help-seeking in college students. PsiChiJournal, 23(4), 293–305. doi:10.24839/2325-7342.jn23.4.293

  22. Idowu, O.M., Adaramola, O.G., Aderounmu, B.S., Olugbamigbe, I.D., Dada, O.E., Osifeso, A.C., Ogunnubi, O.P., & Odukoya, O. (2022). A gender comparison of psychological distress among medical students in Nigeria during the Coronavirus pandemic: A cross-sectional survey. African Health Sciences, 22(1), 541-550. doi: 10.4314/ahs.v22i1.63.

  23. Karyotaki, E., Cuijpers, P., Albor, Y., Alonso, J., Auerbach, R. P., & Bantjes, J. (2020). Sources of stress and their associations with mental disorders among college students: Results of the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys International College Student Initiative. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1759. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01759

  24. Laigong, B.C., & Simiyu, C. (2021). Demographic dynamics as underpinning of non-academic stress level among university students in Kenya. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, 12(2), 91-98. https://hdl.handle.net/10520/ejc-sl_jeteraps_v12_n2_a5

  25. Mason, J. W. (1975). A historical view of the stress field. Part I. Journal of Human Stress, 1, 6–12.

  26. McLean, L., Gaul, D., & Penco, R. (2022). Perceived social support and stress: A study of 1st year students in Ireland. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-021-00710-z

  27. Misigo, B. L. (2015). Gender difference in the perceived level of stress and coping strategies among university students in Kenya: A case of public universities. International Academic Journal of Social Sciences and Education, 1 (4), 44-52

  28. Mutiso, V.N., Ndetei, D.M., & Muia, E.N. (2023). Students stress patterns in a Kenyan socio-cultural and economic context: toward a public health intervention. Scientific Reports, 13, 580 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-27608-1

  29. OECD. (2017). PISA 2015 Results (Volume III). Paris, France.

  30. Palička, M., Rybář, M., & Mechúrová, B. (2023). The influence of excessive stress on medical students in the Czech Republic – national sample. BMC Medical Education, 23, 168 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-023-04157-9

  31. Rijal, D., Paudel, K., Adhikari, T.B., & Bhurtyal, A. (2023). Stress and coping strategies among higher secondary and undergraduate students during COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal. PLOS Glob Public Health, 3(2), e0001533. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgph.0001533

  32. Salam, A., Rabeya, Y., Sheikh Muhammad, A.B., & Mainul, H. (2013). Stress among medical students in Malaysia: A systematic review of literatures. Internal Medicine Journal, 20(6), 649–655.

  33. Selye, H. (1976). The stress of life (rev. edn.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

  34. Singh, G., Sharma, S., Sharma, V., & Zaidi, S.Z.H. (2022). Academic stress and emotional adjustment: A gender-based post-COVID study. Annals of Neurosciences, 2022, 0(0). doi:10.1177/09727531221132964

  35. Stallman, H.M. (20100. Psychological distress in university students: A comparison with general population data. Australian Psychological Society, 45(4), 249–257.

  36. Stallman, H.M., & Hurst, C.P. (2016). The university stress scale: measuring domains and extent of stress in university students. Australian Psychologist, 51, 128–34.

  37. Strang, K.D. (2015). Cross-Sectional survey and multiple correspondence analysis of financial manager behavior. In: Strang, K.D. (eds) The Palgrave handbook of research design in business and management. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137484956_14

  38. Strom, P.S., Strom, R.D., Sindel-Arrington, T., Rude, R.V., & Wang, C. (2022). Gender differences in stress of community college students. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 46(7), 472-487. DOI: 10.1080/10668926.2021.1873872

  39. Umija, M.A., Aloka, P.J.O., & Wachianga, W.O. (2021). Irrational beliefs and stress levels: Evidence among orphaned students in Kenyan secondary schools. South African Journal of Education, 41(2), 1-10. DOI: 10.15700/saje.v41ns2a1996

  40. Wright, B.J., Wilson, K.E., & Kingsley, M. (2022). Gender moderates the association between chronic academic stress with top-down and bottom-up attention. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 84, 383–395. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-022-02454-x

  41. Yakasai, A.M., Dermody, G., Maharaj, S.S., Hassan, A.B., Abdullahi, A., & Usman, J.S. (2022). Prevalence of psychological symptoms and their correlates among physiotherapy clinical students: A cross-sectional study. South African Journal of Physiotherapy, 78(1), a1795. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v78i1.1795

  42. Zamani-Alavijeh, F., Dehkordi, F. R., & Shahry, P. (2017). Perceived social support among students of medical sciences. Electronic Physician, 9(6), 4479. https://doi.org/10.19082/4479

  43. Zimmermann, M., Bledsoe, C., & Papa, A. (2020). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on college student mental health: A longitudinal examination of risk and protective factors. PsyArXiv, 2020. Available from: https://psyarxiv.com/2y7hu/




How to Cite

Aloka, P. (2023) “Effect of Gender on Stressful Experiences of First Year Students”., Academicus International Scientific Journal. Vlora, Albania, 14(28), pp. 75–88. doi: 10.7336/academicus.2023.28.04.