Chinese female nursing students’ coping strategies, self-esteem and related factors in different years of school

Chunping Ni, Daiwei Lo, Xiwen Liu, Jinfeng Ma, Shasha Xu, Lu Li


Background: Recent research has emphasized the importance of coping. There is virtually nothing known about coping strategies and their relationship with self-esteem, individual and environmental factors among Chinese female nursing students. This study was to identify different coping strategies, the relationship between coping and self-esteem and influencing individual factors among Chinese female students in different years of nursing school.

Method: The study used a cross-sectional design. A representative sample composed of 686 female nursing students aged 14 years or older was surveyed in December 2010 using the Simplified Coping Styles Questionnaire, the Self-Esteem Scale and the Personal Data Form for assessment.

Results: Nursing students more often used positive rather than negative coping styles (P<0.001). There was significant difference in the positive coping between nursing students in different years of school (P=0.018). The positive coping style was significantly correlated to a higher level of self-esteem, good interpersonal relationships, enough free time for  study alone, a sense of self-fulfillment and satisfaction, adaptation to new study methods, close friendships, help-seeking behavior of an individual, and physical health in the past year (P<0.05). The negative coping style was significantly associated with problems in romantic relationship, relationship with parents, worry about examinations and job assignment after graduation, feeling misunderstood, and frequent surfing on the internet (P<0.05).

Conclusion: There were different coping strategies and the important relationship between self-esteem, individual and environmental factors and coping strategies among Chinese female nursing students in different years of school. The teaching strategies that promote the self-esteem and pay more attention to students’ individual and environmental factors will be useful for helping nursing students develop effective coping styles.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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