A Study of the Perceived Stress Level of University Students in Hong Kong

  •  Joey Man Yee KWOK    
  •  Douglas Kei Shing NG    


Background. In the school year 2015/2016, a significantly increased suicide rate among students in Hong Kong raised alarm bells to the public. High levels of stress among Hong Kong students was believed to be one of the main causes of these suicide incidents. In order to examine the stress levels of Hong Kong students, we targeted the group of undergraduates and initiated this research study.

Objective. This study aimed to provide more information and objective analysis with regard to the stress levels of undergraduate students in Hong Kong.

Method. There was a total (N = 337) number participants enrolled in this study at the Open University of Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10) was adopted as the measure of perceived stress level of university students. The Perceived Stress Scale-10 is a 10-item scale designed to measure the self-reported perceived stress level. The set of questionnaires also includes The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) scale which was used for evaluating the convergent validity of PSS-10; The General Self Efficacy (GSE) Scale and the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) which were used for evaluating the related divergent validity.

Results. Referring to the findings, the stress level of the participants who were mostly from the age group of 18-29 had an average score of 19.02 which was considered to be higher than the standard score (M = 14.2; SD = 6.2), and thus undergraduate students who belonged to this age group were found to present a potential higher stress level among those participants.

Conclusions. This study simply showed the general stress level of the target population, and such information could provide a meaningful reference for further study of stress levels among Hong Kong students. However, it could not show the other detailed information such as the reasons for causing a high potential stress. Therefore, it suggested that the follow-up study could focus more specifically on a particular type of stress (i.e., academic stress) in investigation.

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