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Poster Competition Winners / Abstracts - Social Sciences

Social Sciences - 1st Place
Predictors of Stress, Health Concerns, and Well-Being in a Longitudinal Contemporary, Nontraditional College Sample

By Shannon Cazeau, SUNY College at Old Westbury

The present study examined longitudinal data in a sample of largely nontraditional college students, to determine predictors for identifying students at risk for potentially problematic amounts of stress and negative consequences. Participants (N=70) voluntarily completed a battery of questionnaires twice: during the first two weeks (Time 1) and the last two weeks (Time 2) of the same semester. Dependent measures consisted of participants’ Time 2 ratings on several items that assessed their perceived stress, health status, well-being, and impact of their health problems on class attendance, which were totaled to yield a dependent-variables total score (DV total). Time 1 scores on independent measures were correlated with Time 2 DV total scores. As expected, two measures of life events stress, along with age, and initial physical and psychological health were successful in identifying students who reported greater stress, more health concerns and lower sense of well-being by the end of the semester. Contrary to expectation, students who worked more hours a week were less stressed, with less health concerns and greater well-being by the end of the semester than those who worked fewer or no hours. Schools could use these predictors to target students who would benefit from stress management interventions.

Social Sciences - 2nd Place
A Comparison of Tactics used for Coping with Stress by School-Age Children and Teenagers vs. Young Adults

By Radjiny Nestor & Trianna Charles, SUNY College at Old Westbury

The present study compared coping behaviors used by children and teenagers (N=103), to those used by young adults (N=160). Coping responses participants reported they “usually” or “always” used to cope with stress were rank-ordered. The top 10 coping tactics used by the children and teens were compared to those used by the young adults, and analyzed by age group (children and teens vs. young adults) and gender (females vs. males). It was hypothesized that: (1) due to greater maturity and experience, the young adults would utilize more positive, problem-focused, cognitive/spiritual coping and health-enhancing tactics than the children and teens; and (2) the females in both age groups would utilize social support more frequently. Contrary to hypothesis 1, the children and teens utilized more positive and problem-focused coping tactics and the young adults reported engaging in more health-threatening tactics. There was comparable use of cognitive/spiritual tactics by the female participants in both age groups, while more men utilized these tactics than did the boys. As expected, social support was used by more females in both age groups. Findings suggest that despite being developmentally less mature, children and teens may be just as adaptive in their coping behavior as young adults.




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