Trends in Post-Secondary Student Stress: A Pan-Canadian Study

The purpose of this research was to use the Post-Secondary Student Stressors Index to examine whether stressors changed significantly and meaningfully over the course of an academic year. Due to the timing of data collection, results also provide context around students’ experiences of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mean levels of stress and psychological distress were high at the start of the study and remained high across time points. A similarly high level of stress was observed on average for student-specific stressors. While significant differences in mean severity were observed over time for some stressors, standardized effect sizes were negligible, suggesting little meaningful change and consistent levels of chronic stress over the course of the academic year.

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