Majority of researchers have documented stress among college students. This study contributes to the existing literature on stress by assessing the relationship between perceived stress levels and the coping strategies utilized by university students. The study was conducted using a descriptive, inferential, cross-sectional, and correlational research design. The population for this study was students at a large, Midwestern university. A convenience sampling technique was used to select the students for the study. Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was used to assess the participant’s perceived level of stress, whereas COPE Inventory was used to examine strategies participants use in coping with stress. Most respondents reported a moderate level of stress and the common coping strategies identified were active coping, planning, and self-distraction. There was no significant relationship between stress levels and the coping mechanism of positive reframing, acceptance, humor, and religion. The relationship between stress levels and coping mechanisms of planning, active coping, emotional support, instrumental support, self-distraction, denial, venting, substance abuse, behavioral disengagement, and self-blame, however, was significant. There is a need for longitudinal studies, to understand student’s experiences regarding stress, during the period of their study at university - as the result of this study is a snapshot of what students go through in their college lives.


Joseph Visker

Committee Member

Emily Forsyth

Committee Member

Marge Murray-Davis

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Health Science


Allied Health and Nursing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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