Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2020

Academic Department

Occupational Therapy

Faculty Advisor(s)

Terri Dennehy


Stress is a universal experience. For many people attending college during the period of emerging adulthood, stress can be a pressing daily occurrence. Shearer et al. (2016)[1] put it succinctly: “college is stressful” (p. 233). As a college student majoring in occupational therapy, I have both studied and experienced the pressure and effects of stress on myself and my peers. With the prevalence of stress throughout college campuses and methods to combat this stress, there is limited research regarding the reason that students participate in wellness options. I am doing research on the wellness options that students select and their primary and secondary motivators for participation. In addition to my own personal research, I have completed a literature review analyzing and evaluating prior research and commentary regarding this topic. While there are studies on student knowledge of health and wellness (Shearer et al., 2016) asking students how college could better serve their wellness endeavors and what students perceive as benefits of a college’s wellness offerings, more research on the topic is warranted. Through examination of current literature about college students’ stressors, I weighed the statistics surrounding mental health and stressors in the college population (American College Health Association (ACHA), 2015, 2017, 2019) and then integrated the dimensions and components of health and wellness into survey research to investigate what students in higher education are doing to cope with stress.


Senior thesis.