Objective: Academic stress and alcohol use accompany the transition from secondary to tertiary education for some university students and are associated with a variety of negative outcomes. Although a dearth of research exists on academic stress and alcohol use, independent of one another, there appears to be limited research into the association between academic stress and alcohol use in university students within the South African context. The current research investigates the relationship between academic stress and alcohol use in second year university students reporting on their first year experiences.
Methodology: Second year university students (n = 81) from the Faculty of Humanities of a prominent Gauteng university were surveyed. The students reported their experiences of stress (academic and perceived stress) and alcohol use, based on their first year experiences, through the following measures: the Academic Stress Scale (ASS), the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT).
Results: The sample reported moderate levels of academic stress and perceived stress, and fairly low levels of alcohol use. Neither academic stress nor perceived stress were found to have a significant relationship with alcohol use. Results did not support the findings from past research of a relationship between academic stress and alcohol use among a sample of university students. However, differing degrees of academic stress and patterns of alcohol use were identified based on the demographic characteristics of the population – gender, race and place of residence.
Conclusion: Despite the small sample size obtained and the delineation from literature reviewed, the research allowed for a number of relevant hypotheses to be posed and explored by future research endeavours.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2019.