The Types and Incidence of Stressors of Students in the University of Ghana-Legon
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 9 No. 4 (2008): Vol-9-Issue-4-April-2008
Hans Selye, the first major researcher of stress coined the word ‘stress’ in 1936 and defined it as “a
non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”. Selye (1974) is of the view that stress is
a facet of life which human beings cannot avoid. In fact he confidently declares that “total freedom from
stress is death” Selye (1976) stated that stress in moderate levels enhances function. Kaplan and
Sadock (2000) in their study on students also found out that moderate stress among students
enhances learning ability. Pfeiffer (2001) emphasizes that stress helps students to peak their
performance. However, stressors become a problem when they are excessive and tend to decrease
the function of the individual.
Stress has become an important topic in the academic circle as well as in our society. Many scholars
in the field of behavioral science have carried out extensive research on stress and its outcomes, and
have concluded that the topic needed more attention, (Rees & Redfern, 2000; Ellison, 2004; Ontari &
Angolla, 2008; Angolla, 2009). Stress in academic institutions can have both positive and negative
consequences if not well managed (Smith, 2002; Tweedet al., 2004; Stevenson & Harper, 2006).