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Bicherova E.N. Personality and Situational Factors of Selecting Coping Strategies by Junior and Senior Students in a Situation of Being Evaluated

Published in journal "Psychology and Psychotechnics", 2016-7 in rubric "Psychology and pedagogics", pages 565-573.

Resume: The subject of the research is the coping strategies used by the first- and fourth-year students in a situation of being evaluated (exam, for example). Special attention is paid to the analysis of factors of selecting coping strategies: 1) personality traits (subjective factors), 2) situational (objective) factors and 3) age-related factors (depending on the year of studies, juniors and seniors). To carry out a detailed analysis, Bicherova conducted an empirical research which hypothesis was the assumption that at different stages of University studies students select different behavior strategies in situations when they are being evaluated depending on subjective factors (student’s personality traits or lack of experience or skills in dealing with this type of hardships) and objective factors (year of studies and psychological assistance). First- and fourth-year students of Bryansk State University aged 17 – 22 participated in the research. The overall number of participants constituted 52 people. To achieve the set goals, the researcher used the following diagnostic inventories: Coping Strategy Indicator by D. Amirkhan, Self-Esteem Quantitative Inventory by S. A. Budassi and Social-Psychological Adaptation Inventory by C. Rogers and R. Diamond). By using methods of mathematical statistics, the researcher proved significant differences in coping strategies selected by the first- and fourth-year students in situations of being evaluated: the first-year students tend to ask their significant others for help and support more than the fourth-year students; the first-year students also use the ‘problem avoidance’ and ‘search for social support’ strategies more frequently. By using the method of correlation analysis, the researcher also proved the following relationships: the group of the first-year students demonstrated the reverse relationship between the ‘search for social support’ and ‘adaptability’ scales while for the group of the fourth-year students such coping strategy as the ‘search for social support’ is directly related to high levels of anxiety and rigidity. The fourth-year students also demonstrated the direct relationship between the ‘problem avoidance’ and ‘aggression’ scales and the reverse relationship between the ‘problem avoidance’ and ‘acceptance of others’ scales. The scientific novelty of the research is caused by the fact that the researcher analyses selection of coping strategies by students of different years of studies using a psychodiagnostic method of personality and situational factors. The practical importance of the research is caused by the fact that the results can be used and implemented by university teachers and psychologists in order to improve the educational process, develop trainings and psychological assistance programs to help students to establish efficient personal coping strategies with situations of being evaluated that are usually stressful events in student’s life.

Keywords: hardship, situational factors, personality factors, student age, personality, situation of being evaluated, coping strategy, coping resources, coping behavior, coping

DOI: 10.7256/2070-8955.2016.7.20679

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