Journal of psychiatric nursing
Objectives: This study aims to examine the relationship between the levels of stress and feelings of anger and hopelessness experienced by nursing students and the perceptions they have of the provision of social support. Methods: The study sample included 231 nursing students studying in the nursing department of a university’s Vocational School of Health from October to November, 2011. Data for the study were collected using a personal information form, the Hopelessness Scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Coping with Stress Scale and the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory. For evaluation of the data, t test, ANOVA and Pearson’s correlation analysis tests were used. Results: Findings from the analysis showed that to cope with stress, female students engaged in social support activities and sought spiritual guidance, while male students applied passive coping mechanisms, such as denial, substance abuse and humor. The levels of perceived social support were determined to be higher in the students who were between the ages of 19 and 21 (p<0.05), and the anger-in scores were found to be higher in the students who were between the ages of 22 and 24 and in fourth-year students (p<0.05). Students whose parents held strong democratic attitudes were demonstrated to have low levels of hopelessness and higher perceptions of social support (p<0.05). Conclusion: The increased number of effective coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and the higher positive perceptions of social support in nursing students leads to the development of suitable behavior for coping with stress and the diminishment of feelings of hopelessness. The study found that when nursing students have a greater perception of social support they express their anger in an appropriate way and are able to cope with stress effectively. Therefore, it is recommended that relevant training programs be organized to individually empower students.