Predicting students’ stress coping strategies based on their personality traits and goal-orientation

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. student in educational psychology, Shiraz University International Division, Shiraz, Iran

2 Shiraz University


Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the role of personality traits and goal-orientation in predicting students’ stress coping strategies. Method: Method was correlational and statistical population included all 4458 undergraduate students of Islamic Azad University Behbahan branch in 2015-2016 academic year. Sample size was determined as 540 in accordance with Klein’s (2011) criteria, which was approximately 3.5 time more than number of research tools items. Sample was selected based on multistage random cluster sampling method from the three fields of experimental sciences, humanities, and mathematics. From each field of study three classes were randomly selected and students completed the short version of Goldberg’s Big five personality factors questionnaire (1999; Khormaei & Farmani 2012), achievement goals questionnaire of Elliot and McGregore (2001), and stressful situations coping strategies of Andler & Parker (1990). After eliminating 11 cases of incomplete questionnaires and six outliers, data for 523 subjects were analyzed. Results: Results showed that neuroticism negatively and significantly and openness to experience, task-orientation, and performance-orientation positively and significantly predicted problem-focused coping strategy. Neuroticism and mastery avoidance positively and significantly and agreeableness and task-orientation negatively and significantly predicted emotion -focused coping strategy. Avoidant coping strategy was predicted negatively and significantly through neuroticism, and positively and significantly through extraversion and performance-orientation. Conclusion: Focusing on developing personality traits such as openness to experience and conscientiousness in students, and encouraging them to have performance goal-orientation approach in order to help them in selection of problem-focused coping strategy for appropriate stress management is very important.


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