Author(s): Pagana KD
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Abstract The stressful nature of the clinical experience of nursing students was examined within the context of Lazarus' theory of cognitive appraisal of stress. The students' evaluation of their initial medical-surgical clinical experience as a threat or a challenge was determined along with the hypothesized mediating variables of hardiness and social support. The sample of 246 students from seven different colleges and universities in Pennsylvania completed a hardiness measure, the Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire (NSSQ), and a Clinical Stress Questionnaire (CSQ). Although the correlations were low, hardiness was found to be positively related to the evaluation of challenge and negatively related to the evaluation of threat. Social support was positively related to the evaluation of challenge only when using a work-related measure of support. The hypothesis that social support would be negatively related to the evaluation of threat was not supported. This research raises important questions related to the theories of hardiness, social support, and cognitive appraisal of stress. Implications for further research in this area are offered.
This article was published in J Nurs Educ
and referenced in Abnormal and Behavioural Psychology