Stress perception, lifestyle behaviors, and emotional intelligence in undergraduate nursing students

Nagia Saleh Ali, Omar Samir Ali


Background: The ongoing curricular changes in nursing programs have resulted in a marked increase in the stress experience of nursing students. Lifestyle behaviors are recognized as essential components of stress reduction and wellbeing. These behaviors include consuming a healthy diet, engaging in exercise, and seeking social support. Emotional intelligence (EI) was also included because of its positive effects on subjective well-being and its mitigating effects on stress. The purpose of this study was to examine the link among stress perception, lifestyle behaviors, and EI.

Methods: Sixty-three undergraduate nursing students with a mean age of 22 years, electronically completed tools that addressed stress perception, diet, exercise, social support, EI, and demographic characteristics. Descriptive statistics, correlational analysis, and ANOVA were used to analyze data.

Results: Students reported a tendency toward perceiving a high level of stress, scored high on EI, sought social support, reported friends as the more frequent social support providers, tended to consume healthy diet, and were more likely to exercise. EI was correlated with the consumption of healthy diet, emotional social support, and instrumental social support. Consumption of a healthy diet was also correlated with exercise participation. The social support constructs of emotional, instrumental, and venting of emotions were correlated with each other.

Conclusion: The study results indicate this sample of nursing students participated in a healthy lifestyle and reported high EI. Assessing stress perception needs to be focused on stress-related nursing issues.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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