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J Dent Educ. 1999 Sep;63(9):688-97.

Sources of stress for Australian dental students.

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School of Psychology, University of South Australia, Australia.


The Dental Environment Stress questionnaire was used to identify and quantify sources of stress for 205 Australian Bachelor of Dental Surgery students. A factor analysis revealed negative self-efficacy beliefs accounted for almost one third of the total variance, and despite higher stress levels reported by females, a marked similarity in the dominant patterns emerged for males and females. In testing for differences in residency status, international students expressed significantly more stress from peer pressure, and this is discussed within a socio-cultural context. Irrespective of gender, residency status, and class year, students ranked examinations and grades as the single most stress-inducing concern. Overall, stress intensity tended to escalate over time, peaking in the fourth year of training. It is suggested that dental students may be prone to unhealthy perfectionism, placing them at risk for the harmful consequences of chronically elevated stress levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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