260-Grad School & Stress

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260-281 Grad School & Stress

Based on research by Nelson, Nancy G., Dell’Oliver, C., Koch, C., & Buckler, Robert (2001) written by Bethany Wellman, M.S.

Graduate School like some jobs can be stressful. Wonder how to handle the stress and plan for success?

Psychologists set out to identify the relationship between clinical psychology graduate student coping style and social support as related to their health and success. They surveyed 53 clinical psychology doctoral students based on their stress, psychological health, social support and coping styles. Academic success was measured by the student’s current GPA. 

The study predicted that more successful students would be healthier, less stressed, have more social support and use positive coping strategies. Guess what? Their results found just that! Interestingly, the most successful students used a “venting” strategy to emotionally cope with their stress, gained more support from family and friends, and were female.  The higher the person’s distress, the less they sought social support, the less social support they had and less contact with a mentor or professor.

So, take care of your bodily needs. Plan time for self-care. Seek medical services when needed. And use coping strategies. When you’re feeling stressed turn to your peers, friends, and family and share your emotions and seek their support. As the saying goes, better out than in.



Nelson, N. G., Dell’Oliver, C., Koch, C., & Buckler, R. (2001). Stress, Coping, and Success among Clinical Psychology Graduate Students. Psychological Reports, 88, 759-767.

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