The relationship between distance students’ health risk and health-promoting behaviours, stress, strain, coping and academic outcomes

PhD Thesis


Beccaria, Lisa M.. 2013. The relationship between distance students’ health risk and health-promoting behaviours, stress, strain, coping and academic outcomes. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

The relationship between distance students’ health risk and health-promoting behaviours, stress, strain, coping and academic outcomes

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorBeccaria, Lisa M.
SupervisorRogers-Clark, Cath
Burton, Lorelle
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages496
Year2013
Abstract

Studying by distance can pose both social and academic challenges for students. The unique experience of distance study as well as balancing family and work may contribute to students’ stress and strains, and subsequently influence their ability to cope. In turn, this has the potential to contribute to, or exacerbate health and social problems. Previous research with on-campus students has found that students’ engagement in health-promoting behaviours may mediate stressors and strains. Despite this, little is known about the relationships between health behaviours, stressors, strains and coping, and academic outcomes, specifically in relation to distance students.

The purpose of this doctoral research was fourfold: (a) to examine the relationship between distance students’ health risk and health-promoting behaviours and stressors, strains, coping and academic outcomes, (b) to examine the cohort differences between distance students and on-campus students in relation to study variables, (c) to explore distance students’ perceptions of their stressors, strains and coping, and the role of health behaviours in coping, and (d) to explore distance students’ perceptions of the university’s role in supporting their health. Two models formed the basis of this research; the health promotion model, and the transactional model of stress and coping.

This study was designed with two main phases using a mixed-method design, each involving students from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). Phase 1 consisted of two quantitative stages. First, an online health survey was pilot tested with 73 USQ Nursing students. The intention was to test the reliability and validity of study measures and obtain feedback from students about the survey tool itself. The pilot testing phase informed the development of an online health survey implemented in the second quantitative stage.

Second, students across discipline areas, faculties and program levels completed an online health survey. This included 766 students including 270 on-campus and 496 distance students. The main aim of this study was to examine the relationships between socio-demographic variables, general health and psychological variables on students’ engagement in health behaviours. Additionally, the study examined the role that stressors, strains and coping played in predicting student academic outcomes.

The results indicated that age did not correlate across many study variables, and little difference was found between on-campus and distance students with respect to gender. Psychological distress was a significant predictor of stress, strain and coping and academic outcomes; whereas health-promoting behaviours related more strongly with student coping. A theoretical model was developed to test which health variables best predicted student stress, strain, coping and academic outcomes. The model indicated that whilst health-promoting behaviours did not have a direct relationship with academic outcomes, they did account for a large amount of variance in student coping, mediating between student stress and strain, regardless of study mode.

Phase 2 used a qualitative approach involving seven distance students. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore the experiences of distance students, with a specific focus on health and coping. Of interest was how they saw the role of health-promoting behaviours in their coping. Furthermore, these interviews sought to explore distance students’ perceptions of the role of the university in supporting their health.

The findings from the qualitative research indicated a variety of challenges related to distance study, including social and academic stressors and strains. For example, students discussed the challenges around time pressures in juggling demands of family, work and study, and navigating the online environment. Despite these challenges, students often used proactive strategies such as time management strategies and health-promoting behaviours, as part of their coping repertoire to buffer the effects of stress.

Given the importance of health-promoting behaviours (nutrition, physical activity, stress management, spiritual growth, interpersonal relations, and health responsibility) in distance students’ coping, these should be activity promoted. This should include the development of online strategies which enhance these behaviours within the context of overall student coping, information and advice built into students’ transition strategies to their online study, and the provision of information and advice by USQ Student Services. This was supported by distance students themselves perceived the university to play a key role in supporting their health, specifically including the provision of health information, support services, recreational opportunities, and support with academic issues within an online learning environment.

Overall, this study has contributed to the body of knowledge by providing new insights into the role that health-promoting behaviours play in stress, strain and coping and academic outcomes for distance students. This presents an alternative view of how positive influences such as engaging in healthy behaviours, may influence students’ ability to cope, and in turn their academic outcomes. This knowledge also contributes to new insights into how these behaviours may contribute to a positive study and work life balance.

Keywordsdistance study; distance students; external students; health risks; health-promoting behaviours; stress
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520102. Educational psychology
390404. Educational counselling
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Nursing and Midwifery
Permalink -

https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q245w/the-relationship-between-distance-students-health-risk-and-health-promoting-behaviours-stress-strain-coping-and-academic-outcomes

Download files


Published Version
Beccaria_2013_whole.pdf
File access level: Anyone

  • 2656
    total views
  • 1535
    total downloads
  • 1
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Minimal educational qualifications for nursing staff in residential aged care settings
Geary, Alanna, Phillips, Craig, Weller-Newton, Jennifer, Mapes, Jo, Lima, Sally, Roche, Michael, Jakimowicz, Samantha, Murray, Melanie, Laging, Bridget, Portelli, Cathy, Frost, Erin, Beccaria, Lisa, Power, Phillipa, Penny, Robyn, Johnston, Sandra, Harmon, Joanne, Kearin, Mark and Brown, John. 2024. Minimal educational qualifications for nursing staff in residential aged care settings . Australian College of Nursing.
Cognitive Mental Workload of Emergency Nursing: A scoping review
Surendran, Anu, Beccaria, Lisa, Rees, Sharon and McIlveen, Peter. 2024. "Cognitive Mental Workload of Emergency Nursing: A scoping review." Nursing Open. 11 (2). https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.2111
Employment of undergraduate nursing students for specialling of people with cognitive impairment: A pilot study
Beccaria, Lisa, Hoey, Heather, Towler, Helen, Rees, Sharon, Brazier, Rebecca, Gordon, Karen, Neville, Christine and Knight, Bob. 2024. "Employment of undergraduate nursing students for specialling of people with cognitive impairment: A pilot study ." Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research. 31 (2), pp. 84-91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colegn.2023.12.002
Building a Better Picture of LGBT Sistergirl and Brotherboy Ageing and Caring in Queensland
Bromdal, Annette, Stanners, Melinda, Howard, Chris, Matson, Ann, Farmer, Ged, Debattista, Joseph, Beccaria, Lisa, Sargent, Jennifer and Mullens, Amy B.. 2023. Building a Better Picture of LGBT Sistergirl and Brotherboy Ageing and Caring in Queensland. Australia. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.25414.45128
The impact of low socioeconomic status and primary health care access on emergency department presentations in young children in regional Queensland
McCosker, Catherine, Beccaria, Gavin, Beccaria, Lisa and Machin, Tanya. 2023. "The impact of low socioeconomic status and primary health care access on emergency department presentations in young children in regional Queensland." Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 59 (9), pp. 1035-1038. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpc.16450
Nursing students'interprofessional socialisation and readiness for interprofessional learning: a cross-sectional study
McGreal, Katherine, Beccaria, Lisa and Beccaria, Gavin. 2023. "Nursing students'interprofessional socialisation and readiness for interprofessional learning: a cross-sectional study." Nurse Education Today. 126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2023.105839
Using Flip to Support First-Year Nursing Students' Preparation for Simulated Laboratory Classes
Beccaria, Lisa and Brock, Anne. 2023. "Using Flip to Support First-Year Nursing Students' Preparation for Simulated Laboratory Classes." Nurse Educator. 48 (4), pp. 228-228. https://doi.org/10.1097/NNE.0000000000001385
Place identity and careers in regional Australia
McIlveen, Peter, Alchin, Carolyn, Hoare, P. Nancey, Bowman, Sarah, Harris, Rebecca, Gotting, Geraldine, Gilmour, John, Perera, Harsha N., Beccaria, Lisa, Kossen, Chris, Cavaye, Jim, Creed, Allison and McDonald, Nicole. 2022. "Place identity and careers in regional Australia." Australian Journal of Career Development. 31 (1), pp. 57-65. https://doi.org/10.1177/10384162221085807
Importance of attachment to place in growing a sustainable Australian Rural Health Workforce: a rapid review
Beccaria, Lisa, McIlveen, Peter, Fein, Erich C., Kelly, Tricia, McGregor, Rowena and Rana, Rezwanul. 2021. "Importance of attachment to place in growing a sustainable Australian Rural Health Workforce: a rapid review." Australian Journal of Rural Health. 29 (5), pp. 620-642. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajr.12799
Effects of professional compromise on higher education employees
Fein, Erich C., Sadykova, Natalia, Collins, Pauline, Beccaria, Lisa, Goh, Steven and Kauter, Kate. 2021. "Effects of professional compromise on higher education employees." International Journal of Innovative Science and Research Technology. 6 (3), pp. 1047-1055.
Nursing student's attitudes towards intimate partner violence
Beccaria, Lisa, Gorman, Don, Harris, Julie-Ann and Dawson, R.. 2009. "Nursing student's attitudes towards intimate partner violence." Health in Transition: Researching for the Future. Adelaide, Australia 16 - 20 Aug 2009
Using 'just in time' online feedback to improve first year undergraduate nursing students' essay writing performance
Beccaria, Lisa, Kek, Megan and Huijser, Henk. 2019. "Using 'just in time' online feedback to improve first year undergraduate nursing students' essay writing performance." Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice. 16 (4), pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.53761/1.16.4.7
Withdrawal versus continuation of long-term antipsychotic drug use for behavioural and psychological symptoms in older people with dementia
Neville, Christine, Beccaria, Lisa and Carey, Melissa. 2020. "Withdrawal versus continuation of long-term antipsychotic drug use for behavioural and psychological symptoms in older people with dementia." Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 41 (2), pp. 176-177. https://doi.org/10.1080/01612840.2019.1635669
Entry requirements in nursing: results from a national survey of nurse academics on entry requirements in Australian bachelor of nursing programs
Ralph, Nicholas, Graham, Coralie, Beccaria, Lisa and Rogers, Cath. 2019. "Entry requirements in nursing: results from a national survey of nurse academics on entry requirements in Australian bachelor of nursing programs." Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research. 26 (1), pp. 140-145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colegn.2018.06.005
A confirmatory factor analysis of the student evidence-based practice questionnaire (s-ebpq) in an Australian sample
Beccaria, Lisa, Beccaria, Gavin and McCosker, Catherine. 2018. "A confirmatory factor analysis of the student evidence-based practice questionnaire (s-ebpq) in an Australian sample." Nurse Education Today. 62, pp. 69-73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2017.12.010
Exploring nursing educators' use of theory and methods in search for evidence based credibility in nursing education
Beccaria, Lisa, Kek, Megan Y.C.A. and Huijser, Henk. 2018. "Exploring nursing educators' use of theory and methods in search for evidence based credibility in nursing education." Nurse Education Today. 65, pp. 60-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2018.02.032
Role of health-promoting behaviours for on-campus and distance students
Beccaria, Lisa, Rogers, Cath, Burton, Lorelle and Beccaria, Gavin. 2016. "Role of health-promoting behaviours for on-campus and distance students." Distance Education. 37 (1), pp. 22-40. https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2016.1158768
Preparation of Australian and Spanish nursing students for intimate partner violence
Gorman, Don, Cuadra, Assumpta Rigol, Perez, Maria Honrubia, Zaplana, Isabel Sanchez, Martin, Dolors Rodriguez, Bujosa, Neus Tur, Beccaria, Lisa, Martyn, Julie A, Dawson, Rhonda, Beccaria, Gavin and Hossain, Delwar. 2016. "Preparation of Australian and Spanish nursing students for intimate partner violence." Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. 6 (12), pp. 131-135. https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v6n12p131
Australian distance students’ perceptions of individual and institutional responsibility for health and wellbeing
Beccaria, Lisa, Rogers, Cath and Burton, Lorelle. 2016. "Australian distance students’ perceptions of individual and institutional responsibility for health and wellbeing." Journal of the Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association. 47, pp. 18-30.
Contributing to evidence-based healthcare cultures through lifelong learning
Beccaria, Lisa, Moloney, Clint and Lockwood, Craig. 2015. "Contributing to evidence-based healthcare cultures through lifelong learning." Lawrence, Jill, Perrin, Cheryl and Kiernan, Eleanor (ed.) Building professional nursing communication. Port Melbourne, Australia. Cambridge University Press. pp. 205-240
The interrelationships between student approaches to learning and group work
Beccaria, Lisa, Kek, Megan, Huijser, Henk, Rose, Jayln and Kimmins, Lindy. 2014. "The interrelationships between student approaches to learning and group work." Nurse Education Today. 34 (7), pp. 1094-1103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2014.02.006
Nursing students' perceptions and understanding of intimate partner violence
Beccaria, Gavin, Beccaria, Lisa, Dawson, Rhonda, Gorman, Don, Harris, Julie A. and Hossain, Delwar. 2013. "Nursing students' perceptions and understanding of intimate partner violence." Nurse Education Today. 33 (8), pp. 907-911. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2012.08.004
Perceived facilitators and inhibitors for the use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) by nurses: a systematic review
Moloney, Clint and Beccaria, Lisa Mara. 2009. "Perceived facilitators and inhibitors for the use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) by nurses: a systematic review." JBI Library of Systematic Reviews. 7 (33), pp. 1430-1491. https://doi.org/10.11124/01938924-200907330-00001
Parental and teacher influences on the consumption of plain drinking water by primary school aged children
Beccaria, Lisa Mara. 2007. Parental and teacher influences on the consumption of plain drinking water by primary school aged children. Masters Thesis Master of Health. University of Southern Queensland.