Sense of coherence as a mediator of stress among high school students in Tromsø, Norway.
AuthorMellem, Lise Sand
School adaptation seems to have an impact on social, psychological, and behavioural outcomes. Empirical evidence on the stress moderating role of the sense of coherence (SOC), which implies to which degree one find life meaningful, comprehensible and manageable, may offer a scope for development of prevention policies. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship and interactions between high school students perceived stress (PSQ), sense of coherence (SOC-13), perceived health condition (HBSC), memories of childhood upbringing separate for mother and fathers parenting style (s-EMBU), locus of control (LOC) and degree of conformity (NC). All respondents were at least 18 years during semesters 2007/08. Three high schools in Tromsø, here referred to as school A, B and C, participated in the study. Results were analysed for total group, for each gender and also individually for each school. The study included 125 respondents, 61 females and 64 males, who completed a test battery in paper form. The results revealed that youth with a high sense of coherence report less perceived stress, whereas youth with high perceived stress report more health complaints. Males with the highest sense of coherence and females with lowest sense of coherence (SOC) report the strongest correlation between the sense of coherence and health complaints. There were only very weak correlations, in particular for males, between SOC and factors from experienced childhood upbringing, no statistically significant correlations were found. There were no statistically significant correlations between SOC and youths locus of control. Significant gender differences were found in that perceived stress and level of health complaints is significantly higher in females. Health complaints and sense of coherence has the largest predictive power for females and males perceived stress. For males their sense of coherence has an almost equally strong predictive power as perceived health. Evaluation of parallelism shows that SOC and HBSC do not have a significantly different effect on perceived stress in males and females. But the overall level of stress and health complaints is reported as higher in females. Due to methodological limitations, any conclusions about causality cannot be drawn from the present results.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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