Date of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Languages, Philosophy and Speech Communication

First Advisor

Elizabeth Hall

Abstract

Stress is a natural part of life. However, there are some demographics which experience stress at heightened levels due to their circumstances, making them more prone to negative consequences. One such demographic is emerging adult undergraduate student parents (EAUSPs). Research on highly stressed demographics allows for the creation of programs and strategies to aid them. Unfortunately, research on EAUSPs is very scarce, making supporting them difficult. This study sought to understand the stresses which EAUSPs identify being prevalent in their lives along with coping strategies which they have found to be effective. To do so, interviews were conducted with 12 EAUSPs and communications regarding stresses were coded into four central themes: health, time management, uncertainties, and finances. Three coping strategies also emerged: seeking social support, taking things one day at a time, and physical fitness. By better understanding these common stressors, I hope to establish a foundation for future research which may lead to the development of university policies and social support strategies which may improve the ability of EAUSPs to reach their goals and improve their quality of life.

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