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Cailin Frusti

Stress Management
11 February 2017
Critical Analysis/Reflection
Family and school are two of the biggest stressors inflicted upon colleges students today.

You cannot have one without the other being influenced by it. This study was conducted to show

how one of these stressors could spill over and affect the other. Daphne E. Pederson examined

how these two stressors could influence a traditional undergraduates sleep, physical health,

mental health, and drinking habits. In her findings, she found that both men and women have a

higher spillover of stress from school than from family, but that women have a higher spillover

than men. In regards to sleep, Pederson found that men tend to lose sleep over family stressors

while women tend to lose sleep over school stressors.

There are several aspects of this study that I can relate to. Firstly, I can relate that school

is a higher spillover of stress than family. When I am stressed about something, it is typically

school related. When I am stressed about school, it also seems to spillover onto my family. My

time I spend with them is negatively affected as I allow the stress to affect me and my mood

towards them. I can also relate that I lose more sleep over school stressors than with family

stressors. The study stated that if a woman is stressed over school related things, that they could

take hours from their sleep and stay up late to finish their assignments. This is something I find

myself doing quite often when I am stressed from homework, losing sleep, and therefore being

more stressed than I was to begin with.

Like every study, this study performed by Pederson has its strengths and weaknesses. The

biggest strength, in my opinion, is that it covered a variety of courses and its students, not just

one course or courses that are similar in curriculum. By opening up the questionnaire to students
in seventy-three different courses allowed a bigger variety of students and their workloads to

respond. This allowed the survey to be better represented of different courses across the campus.

The biggest weakness of this survey, however, was that it only included traditional, young and

unmarried students. Although that discouraged outliers, it also did not fairly represent all of the

undergraduate students. Also, I did not feel as though the pool of students who responded to the

questionnaire to be big enough to accurately represent the results. Only about 268 students were

analyzed in the survey. This small number of students is not enough to represent all of the

traditional undergraduate students across the country.

Due to this weakness, I do not believe that the author has enough information to support

its thesis and its claims. Without more students responding to the questionnaire, the survey is ill

supported and not strong enough to validate the claims of Pederson. However, the information

that was provided appears to be accurate, and I can relate to what was shown in the results. Most

of the students who responded worked in addition to school, therefore having a higher level of

stress. I can relate to that as having a part time job spills over into my school, by giving me less

time to focus on school, which creates more school-related stress. School, work, and family

stressors are all woven together, you cannot have one without influencing another, which I

believe is the biggest take away from this article.