THE EFFECTS OF FINANCIAL STRESS ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Students well being is a hot subject on college campuses around the country, as officials in higher education and student life become increasingly worried about student stress. Given that stress has been found to have a detrimental effect on students persistence (Letkiewicz, 2013), rising federal and state scrutiny of graduation rates should drive administrators to better understand the sources of student stress. More precisely, the stress associated with personal financial troubles is worth investigating further in light of the challenge college students and new graduates confront as a result of the rising load of loans. The institutional context in which college students make their educational choices has shifted considerably — grants and other types of help have not kept pace with the substantial increase in tuition (College Board, 2011; Draut, 2007). As a result, students are more reliant on loans to fund their education (Draut, 2007). "Working your way through college" is no longer a viable option, since tuition has climbed at a faster rate than inflation in recent decades.
Stress research demonstrates the significant significance that personal financial difficulties have in the lives of college students. Financial troubles are frequently identified as a cause of stress for college students (Northern, O'Brien, & Goetz, 2010).
Furthermore, effects of stress includes psychological or emotional consequences (Northern et al., 2010). Much of the research on financial stress has been on the repercussions of the stress. Financial stress has been shown to have the following detrimental consequences: (a) depression (Andrews & Wilding, 2004; Clark-Lempers, Lempers, & Netusil, 1990), (b) anxiety (Andrews & Wilding, 2004), (c) poor academic performance (Andrews & Wilding, 2004; Harding, 2011), (d) bad health (Northern et al., 2010), and (e) trouble completing a degree (Andrews & Wilding, 2004). (Letkiewicz, in press; Joo, Durband, & Grable, 2008; Robb, Moody, & Abdel-Ghany, 2011). Additionally, research has been conducted on the coping behaviors of financially stressed students, such as requesting assistance (Britt et al., 2011; Lim, Heckman, Letkiewicz, Fox, & Montalto, 2012). Hayhoe, Leach, Turner, Bruin, & Lawrence (2000) investigated variations in spending habits among college students and included financial stress as a predictor variable in their model. Financial stress was quantified by adding affirmative responses to seven financial stressors, such as "unable to save for an emergency" and "unable to pay utility bills." Hayhoe et al. (2000) discovered a negative correlation between the number of positive financial activities and the amount of financial stresses. Only a few research have studied the predictors of reporting financial stress. Brougham, Zail, Mendoza, & Miller (2009) studied a variety of stressors, including academic, financial, familial, social, and everyday annoyances, but their major objective was to discover students' coping behaviors. They discovered that female college students were more likely than male college students to experience financial stress (Brougham et al., 2009). Additionally, it has been demonstrated that anticipated debt is a powerful predictor of financial stress among medical students (Morra, Regehr, & Ginsburg, 2008). Archuleta, Dale, & Spann (2013) discovered that greater levels of financial pleasure were substantially and adversely associated with financial anxiety among college students. As Northern et al. (2010) highlight, some researchers have relied only on financial data to quantify financial stress. While inability to pay payments and other financial troubles can cause stress, there are significant psychological components of stress that may be overlooked when relying just on financial data (Northern et al., 2010). Inability to pay expenses on time may be burdensome for one student, but not for another. While stress is undoubtedly a complicated concept, the disparities in financial stress assessment are most likely due to a dearth of theory-based research. Numerous research cited above do not give a description of the theoretical framework employed to explore financial stress-related topics.
A review of studies on financial concerns and college students (Joo, Durband, & Grable, 2008; Kadison & DiGeronimo, 2004; Robb, 2011) provides some context for the subject; nonetheless, there appears to be a dearth of contemporary research addressing this issue. The search for studies specifically focused on undergraduate residential college students produced results that were primarily focused on interpersonal relationship issues and maladaptive coping, and thus did not yield nearly as much information as I had hoped existed specifically on my research question and sub-questions. Several studies conducted specifically on nonwhite residential college students focused on socioeconomic, acculturation, academic readiness, and the influence of stress on students in general (Crockett et al., 2007; Matlin, Molock, & Tebes, 2011).
Considering financial stress as a possible predictor of academic and social functioning and satisfaction problems among undergraduate residential college students, this chapter conducts a review of the literature on financial stress in the general population and on the undergraduate college population. Additionally, studies on academic and social functioning and satisfaction, retention rates, and support networks such as parental, peer, community, and professional assistance are evaluated. Financial stress was by evaluated Draut, (2007), as an independent variable in this study because it had an effect on two dependent variables: 1) academic functioning and contentment, and 2) social functioning and satisfaction related with undergraduate students' college performance. I asked the following questions to ascertain the link between the independent variable and the two dependent variables: What is the link between financial stress and academic, social, and personal pleasure in the lives of undergraduate residential college students? Furthermore, what are students' attitudes on accessing professional assistance with difficulties linked to financial stress and academic and social functioning, including assistance from college counseling centers, the college's financial aid office, and other on- and off-campus resources? Additionally, do undergraduate residential college students recognize financial stress as a factor affecting their academic and social functioning and satisfaction? Thus, the purpose of this research review is to provide a foundational understanding of the setting in which financial stress, academic functioning and satisfaction, and social functioning and contentment are interrelated as potential determinants of undergraduate residential college success.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Academic achievement is contingent upon a number of elements, each of which can have a favorable or negative effect on a child's capacity to remain motivated and perform in school. Children living in high-poverty metropolitan areas face additional obstacles to academic success (Murray & Malmgren, 2005). Numerous research studies outline the difficulties of students growing up in high-poverty metropolitan areas. These studies emphasize the difficulties faced by high rates of domestic and community violence and crime, rising rates of mental illness, low-quality schools, and many family stresses that may impair children's adjustment and performance in school and other areas of their lives. Despite these obstacles, some students are tenacious and overcome the adverse situations to which they are exposed or trusted (Draut, 2007). However, this study focuses primarily on the difficulties associated with financial stress and its effect on students' academic progress.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to assess the effects of financial stress on students academic performance. Specifically but not limited to, other objectives of this study are:
i. To determine whether finance is important to students academic achievement.
ii. To examine the causes of financial stress on students.
iii. To determine the extent financial stress affects academic performance of students.
iv. To proffer possible solutions to easing the financial stress on students.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will be answered in this study:
i. Is finance important to students academic achievement?
ii. What are the causes of financial stress on students?
iii. To what extent does financial stress affects academic performance of students?
iv. What are the possible solutions to easing the financial stress on students?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will expose the government at various levels, stakeholders involved in education policies, instructors, and schools administration to the issues of financial stress on students' academic performance and will motivate them to providing some real-world remedies.
This study will also be of great benefit to parents as this study will reveal how important finance is to students academic performance.
Finally, this project will serve as a model for others who wish to conduct similar research and also serve as material for further research and future reference.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be focused on the effects of financial stress on students academic performance. Specifically, it will be focused on determining whether finance is important to students academic achievement, examining the causes of financial stress on students, determining the extent financial stress affects academic performance of students and proffering possible solutions to easing the financial stress on students.
This study will be using teachers and students of selected secondary schools in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State as enrolled participants for the survey of this study.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The researcher encountered minor obstacles when conducting the study, as with any human endeavor. The significant constraint was the scarcity of literature on the subject due to the nature of the discourse, so the researcher incurred more financial expenses and spent more time sourcing for relevant materials, literature, or information and in the data collection process, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Furthermore, the researcher did this investigation alongside other academic activities. Furthermore, the sample size was limited because only a few respondents were chosen to answer the research instrument, therefore the results cannot be generalized to other secondary schools outside the state. Despite the constraints encountered during the research, all elements were minimized in order to provide the best results and make the research effective.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Effects: a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.
Financial stress: emotional tension that is specifically related to money. Anyone can experience financial stress, but financial stress may occur more often in households with low incomes.
Academic performance: is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals. Completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor's degrees represent academic achievement
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