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Students' perceived stress and perception of barriers to effective study: Impact on academic performance in examinations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-458
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number9
Published13 Nov 2015

King's Authors


Aims To identify students' perceptions of barriers to effective study and the relationship between these and demographic characteristics, levels of perceived stress and examination performance.Materials and Methods A questionnaire was distributed to first (BDS1) and final year (BDS5) King's College London dental undergraduates, during Spring 2013. Data were collected on students' social and working environment using a Likert scale from zero to four. Levels of perceived stress and end-of-year examination results were collected. Statistical analyses were undertaken using SPSS ® and Stata ® software.Results A response rate of 83.0% (BDS1) and 82.9% (BDS5) was achieved. Social distractions were perceived to hinder study, with median scores of two and three for females and males respectively. The mean perceived stress score differed significantly (p = 0.001) between males and females. Difficulties with journey was a significant predictor of perceived stress (p = 0.03) as were family responsibilities (p = 0.02). Social distractions were significantly related to examination performance (p = 0.001).Conclusions Social distractions were the barrier most highly rated as hindering effective study. Levels of perceived stress were high and were significantly associated with gender, a difficult journey to university and family responsibilities. Social distractions were significantly related to examination performance; students rating social distractions highly, performed less well.

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