Development of the Academic Stressors Scale for Bulgarian University Students

Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”, BULGARIA.


There are numerous studies regarding the damage of academic stress on student well-being and achievement. Unfortunately, there are not many methods to measure various academic stressors among students.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop a valid and reliable scale to measure the stressors to which students are subjected in the academic environment.

Research Methods: After interviews with students about the stressors to which they are subjected at the university, a test form of a scale, which contains 19 items, was developed. The scale form was completed by 187 first-year students at the university.

Findings: The results showed that the Academic stressors scale was a reliable and valid data collection tool to be used in higher education. Four subscales emerged: stress related to parental expectations, stress related to lack of knowledge, stress related to learning material and the lecturers, and stress related to auditorium activities, which were confirmed by the confirmatory factor analysis. It was found that the biggest stressor in the academic environment was the stress associated with lack of knowledge.

Implications for Research and Practice: Researchers and educators can use and apply the “Academic stressors” scale among students; and thus, track which students are most vulnerable to poor success and dropout from the university, and take measures to prevent such negative consequences.

Keywords: Academic stressors scale, Validity, Reliability. University students