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A Research Proposal
Submitted to
Mr. Nashrudin C. Roxas
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements in
Practical Research 1
March 2017
Students experiencing stress may sound natural because of the things they undergo while
in school, doing outputs and other activities. In fact, according to the American Psychological
Association (APA) stress can sometimes be beneficial as it boosts the energy of people to
accomplish certain tasks. However, too much stress can pose a serious threat to individuals,
especially to students. They could develop mental and physical health issues or worse, it could
lead to suicide attempts.
Hipona National High School is considered to be one of the “Big Schools” in the Division
of Capiz, where approximately 1,600 students have enrolled in school year 2016 – 2017. It is a
suitable environment to conduct the study as the students in this school are believed to be
competent. Thus, they are often exposed to stress and develop their own coping strategies.
As the students mostly experience new things in school, (Blona, as cited by Mazo, 2015),
they experience stress as some of them try to cope up with the need of blending in to a new living
environment, new people, academic pressure, and sexual concerns. Students can also experience
financial stress when they reach to higher education. These events can lead to various health issues
like trembling hands, tense muscles, migraine, headache, etc. However, utilizing different coping
strategies such as finding help, solving problem, recreational activities, and a sense of being secure
were found to be beneficial (Donaldson & Prinstein et al., 2000).
High school plays a major role in the students’ learning process before going to higher
education. However, if they could not develop strategies against stress while in high school, then
they are likely to have a tough time in higher education or college. For this reason, students should
be aware on how to combat the stressors around them.
With the abovementioned scenario and situations, it is the main goal of the researchers to
discover how the Grade 11 students of Hipona National High School cope up with stress. Thus,
the research findings of this objective could serve as a basis for developing effective coping
mechanisms for stress.
This is mainly for the purpose of improving the students’ way of approaching stress that
will help them lessen their vulnerabilities.
Statement of the Problem
The overall purpose of this study is to discover how the Grade 11 students of Hipona
National High School cope up with stress.
1. How would the Grade 11 students describe stress?
2. What are the factors that contribute to stress of Grade 11 students?
3. What are the risk behaviours that Grade 11 students encounter while coping up with stress?
4. What kind of coping mechanisms does the Grade 11 students employ to deal with stress?
5. Are these coping mechanisms effective as perceived by the participants?
Significance of the Study
The results of this study may provide students and schools in the Division of Capiz with
insights on how to effectively cope up with stress based on the experiences of the participants.
This study can give a variety of information for future use. Likewise, the findings can showcase
beneficial ideas for the improvement of students’ self-organization, specifically in dealing with
stress. The students will be more productive and competent towards their studies which in turn
could help in the development of their school.
Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This study will focus on the stress experiences and coping strategies of the Grade 11
students of Hipona National High school in the school year 2016-2017.
In this study, the students’ coping strategies will refer to the unique habits or behaviours
they have developed as they deal with stress. The Grade 11 will be the participants of the study as
they are the pioneer students in the K-12 Curriculum of the Department of Education. Therefore,
they are perceived to go through various kinds of stress due to the Philippines’ new education
Hipona National High School will be the research locale of the study. This is because of
its competent students and it is also considered as one of the “Big schools” in the Division of
Specifically, this research will focus on student-related and school-related factors. Studentrelated factors pertain to the behaviour of students on stress while school-related factors pertain to
the environment and situations they encounter while in school.
Definition of Terms
Coping refers to the “constantly changing cognitive and behavioural efforts” a person
makes to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing (Folkman
& Lazarus, 1984). In this study, it is defined as the students’ ways or strategies to deal and manage
stressful situations.
Stress refers to the negative emotional, cognitive, behavioural and physiological process
that happens as an individual tries to adapt or deal with stressors (Bernstein, et al., 2008). In this
study, it refers to the behaviour of students towards challenging or difficult situations.
Stressors refer to anything that challenges a person’s adaptability or stimulates a person’s
body or mentality (Volpe, 2000). In this study, it is defined as the factors that make the students
feel stressed.
Risk Behaviours refer to the possibility of negative health outcomes that occur as a result
of certain behaviour practices (Shaboltas & Zhukov, 2011). In this study, it is defined as the
dangerous measures that the student-respondents employ to relieve themselves from stress.
Related Concepts
On experiencing stress. Stress is a natural part of life. It can come from any situation that
makes a person feel frustrated, mad, or insecure (Akande, et al., 2014). Stress is also a person’s
adaptive response to an outward situation that could cause physical, mental, and behavioural
changes. A minimum amount of stress can be beneficial, as it can activate an individual’s passion
for work and draw his/her hidden abilities (Devi, 2011). On the other hand, experiencing a large
amount of stress can be dangerous. School is the environment where students learn to interact with
other people on a regular basis. It is a fact when people come together stress is likely to happen,
one way or another (Mazo, 2015). According to Kai-Wen (2010), students at this stage undergo
fast physical and mental changes. Therefore, they often experience confusion and suffer from
problems brought by their inability to adapt with these changes.
On the sources of stress. Any situation that could harm an individual’s lifestyle and causes
them to make changes can be considered as a source of stress or also called as stressors (Bernstein
et al., 2008). In school, the most dominant causes of stress were from academics and examinations
(Babar, et al., 2004). According to Kai-Wen (2010) the following are the major sources of stress:
Physical/mental factor – people in their adolescent stage are more worried or concerned
about their physical appearance than other things.
Family factor – children who often experience punishments rather than being
encouraged by their parents could increase the stress they experience.
School factor – too much home works, low academic performance and other activities
inside school are the primary sources of stress among adolescents.
Relationship factor – developing relationships between opposite sex could also be a
stressor because some people have a hard time in facing the ones they like. The thought
of being rejected also comes along.
Social Factor – in today’s society, individuals play various roles in their lives such as
being a student in school, being an employee inside the workplace, and being a parent
to children.
On the effects of stress. Stress affects people from all walks of life regardless of age,
gender, religion and social statsus (Mazo, 2015). It is also important to note that stress can have
both positive and negative effects on individuals. It means that stress could be a normal response
to threat, or a hindrance to an individual’s performance on difficult or challenging tasks (Prabu,
2015). Duque (2007) states that the common effects of stress are insomnia, headaches, backaches,
constipation, high blood pressure, heart problems, depression and alcohol, tobacco or drug use.
On coping. Coping with stress is a very important factor, as it affects the decision that an
individual makes in managing stress (Passer & Smith, 2007). According to Hiebert (2002) stressor
and stress management strategies are also necessary for people to cope with the demands placed
upon them. He added that sufficient amount of knowledge and skills are needed to successfully
deal with different situations.
The following are some recommendations that an individual who suffer from the effects of
stress could make (Duque, as cited by Mazo, 2015):
1. After seeing a doctor, he should share his treatment plan with people close to him. He
should talk with his friends and relatives to explain what he is going through.
2. If the doctor prescribed medication, he should take it exactly the way it is prescribed.
He should not stop from taking his medication until his doctor tells him to do so.
3. He should keep all follow-up appointments with his doctor.
4. He should remember that it may take some time to feel better.
5. He should tell his doctor if he experience side effects from the medication.
6. Seek professional counselling.
Related Studies
As this study focuses on coping stress among students, a study conducted by Mazo
(2015) is related. Its objective is to determine the causes of stress, the effects of stress, and the
stress coping mechanisms of Bachelor of Science in Information Technology students in the Leyte
Normal University, Tacloban City. The researcher used simple random sampling to identify the
respondents of the study. A total of 51 students from all year levels were identified as the
respondents. The researcher found out the following:
1. The students find school requirements or projects to be burdensome and give them stress.
2. When students experience stress they are unable to get a good night sleep which result in
low performance in class for the males and irritability/moody among females.
3. Causes of stress among male and female students are different.
4. Coping mechanisms of male and female respondents are also different.
Kai-Wen (2010) determined the sources of stress among college students in Taiwan. The study
classified stress sources in five factors, it includes mental/physical factor, family factor,
relationship factor, and social factor. The researcher arrived at the following conclusions:
1. Among the stressors in school factor, students’ lack of interest in certain subject was
considered as the highest.
2. Male students feel more stress from family factor than female ones.
3. Students in higher grades feel more stress from physical/mental and emotional factors.
4. College students feel relatively more stressed in the career aspect.
Stress is believed to be a normal response of a person who doesn’t feel comfortable about
a certain situation. It happens to anyone and everywhere, at home, in the office or in school. The
right amount of stress could help a person achieve better results. However, experiencing a
significant amount of stress is another story. It could pose a threat on the health and well-being of
a person. It could also affect the normal functions of a person’s body which hinders their ability to
perform at their best. This happens especially to students as they try to deals with the changes
around them.
The most common sources of stress for students are the requirements and activities that
they need to accomplish in school. These sources of stress or also called as stressors greatly affects
the life of students. A study shows that students who experience stress have a difficulty of getting
the right amount of sleep which leads to a low performance in class. Another study shows that
factors affect students differently as they go through different situations.
On the other hand, stress could be managed depending on how students treat the situation
or how they cope up with the stressful situations that they are going through. At this point,
developing coping mechanisms that suits with their needs is the most efficient way to deal with
stress. When tasks are piled up, students could make a time management plan so they could finish
these tasks on time. With this, they could have enough time for recreational activities.
Research Design
This study will utilize a qualitative type of study, which seeks to gather extensive
knowledge on human behaviour and the reasons that govern such behaviour. This study will also
use utilize a phenomenological design. This design or method concentrates gathering data based
on the lived experiences of the respondents through questionnaires or interviews.
This design is suitable to the current study as the researchers want to discover the stress
experiences and coping strategies of the Grade 11 students of Hipona National High School.
Time and Place of the Study
This study will be conducted at Hipona National High School which is considered as one
of the “Big schools” in the Division of Capiz.
Respondents of the Study
The Grade 11 students of school year 2016-2017 will be the respondents of the study as
they have firsthand experiences on the Philippines’ new education system. Therefore, they are
believed to be experiencing a significant amount of stress while adapting with the new curriculum.
According to Creswell (1998), for a phenomenological research design, five to twenty-five is the
ideal sample size. So, the researchers decided to utilize six samples for the study.
Sampling Procedure
This study will use purposive or judgemental sampling, which involves choosing the most
suitable respondents for the study. The researchers will list all the Grade 11 students who could
give the needed data but only six students among them will be chosen as the respondents.
This study will conduct a semi- structured interview among the student-respondents. The
study will utilize a self-constructed interview schedule to gather the needed data. The first part of
the instrument will be the basic-questions section which aims to make the interviewees feel
comfortable. The next part will gather data about the experiences of the interviewees while in
school. The main-questions section will then follow, which will gather data about the stress
experiences of the respondents and the unique coping strategies they have developed while
experiencing stress. When the level of saturation is reached, it is the time for the closing section.
Validity and Reliability
The instrument will be subjected to face validity and content validity. The researchers, with
the help of some experts, will finalize the content and the formatting of the instrument so it would
not cause any problems during its utilization.
After the instrument has been validated and modified, it will then go through pilot testing
to determine its reliability and appropriateness to the local setting.
Data Collection Procedure
After the proposal has been evaluated and the instrument has passed validity and reliability
testing, the researchers will then ask the permission of the chosen student-respondents. The
researchers will also ask the approval of the respondents upon the use of a voice recorder to record
their responses.
Data Analysis and Interpretation
The gathered data will be transcribed by the researchers and the coding process will follow.
In this process, the data will be categorized into smaller groups. The researchers will also use
thematic analysis by grouping the data based on themes.
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Topic: Stress experiences and coping mechanisms developed.
How are you today? Before we begin, could you remind me of the following?
What is your name?
What is the occupation of your father? How about your mother?
How many hours a day does it take you to reach school?
What Track and Strand have you taken for Senior High School?
Why did you choose this Track and Strand?
1. First, try to think about some situations that made you feel stressed before. It could be
inside or outside of school.
a. Why did it stress you?
b. Did you have a hard time to cope with it?
2. Let me ask about your own opinion about stress.
a. With your experiences in life, how would you define stress?
3. Now, I would like you to tell me about your stress coping strategies.
a. When you experience some stressful situations, what’s the first thing that comes to your
b. What strategies did you employ to relieve yourself from stress?
c. Have you tried some risky measures (alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes) just to relieve
yourself from stress?
d. Are these coping strategies effective based on your own experience?
4. Next, I’d like you to recall a certain task that you have failed to accomplish.
a. Why did you fail to accomplish that task? What was the reason behind it?
5. Now, I’ll ask you about your activities in school.
a. What situation or activities in school stresses you the most?
b. How do you deal with it?
6. Suppose you were given multiple tasks (assignments, projects, outputs) that should be
accomplished within a week.
a. What will you do to finish these tasks within a week?
b. What things do you usually sacrifice if you encounter this kind of situation?
c. Do you get the right amount of sleep have to accomplish this kind of task?
d. Have you been lazy and just escape from these activities?
7. Let me ask about your recommendations.
a. What can you recommend about the dissemination of tasks in school?
Can I request you to come for our next interview? Thank you very much for your time.