Perceived stress and coping skills of university student-athletes and the relationship with life satisfaction

  • J Surujlal
  • Y Van Zyl
  • VT Nolan
Keywords: Coping skills, life satisfaction, stress, student-athletes.


Student-athletes are expected to cope with their studies and participation in sport simultaneously as well as to satisfy the expectations of coaches, teammates, friends, and family. Once student-athletes perceive a situation as stressful and struggle to cope with the anticipation thereof, their satisfaction with life will be negatively influenced. This study was conducted to determine the relationship between perceived stress and coping skills with satisfaction with life of university students-athletes. A purposive sample of 500 first, second and third year as well as post graduate university student-athletes competing at university, national, provincial and regional level were drawn. A questionnaire including the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), and the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 (ACSI-28) were administered to the sample. Descriptive statistics, bivariate correlation analysis, and multiple linear regression analysis were used to report the results of the study. The results indicated that student-athletes were moderately satisfied with their life and perceived their stress as slightly higher than average. A negative significant relationship was found between perceived stress and satisfaction with life, as well as between perceived stress and five coping skills subscales (coping with adversity, goal setting/mental preparation, freedom from worry, confidence and achievement motivation, coachability). A positive significant relationship was found between satisfaction with life and the five coping skills subscales. This study concluded that student-athletes perceived stress level and two coping skills (freedom from worry and goal setting/mental preparation) were important and contribute significantly to their life satisfaction.

Keywords: Coping skills, life satisfaction, stress, student-athletes.


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eISSN: 1117-4315