Internet addiction and academic procrastination as predictors of academic stress in universities in the South East
Despite the constant efforts made by institutions of higher learning to reduce academic stress, studies show that stress among students is on a steady increase which could be a result of the ever-increasing attachment of students to the Internet. Furthermore, students' delay to complete academic tasks may result in overwhelm and eventually academic stress. The purpose of the study, therefore, was to ascertain if Internet addiction and academic procrastination are predictors of academic stress in universities in the South East. Four research questions were raised for the study while three hypotheses were tested. A correlational research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study comprised all 61, 026 regular first-year undergraduate students for the 2020/2021 academic session in the federal universities in the South East. The sample of this study was made up of 720 regular undergraduate students for the 2020/2021 session obtained through a multi-stage sampling procedure and purposive sampling technique. Academic Procrastination Scale (APS), Adolescents Educational Stress Scale (AESS), and Internet Addiction among Undergraduate Students Questionnaire (IAUSQ) were used to collect data. APS, IAUSQ, and AESS were validated by three experts in the Department of Educational Foundations, all at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. The reliabilities of APS, IAUSQ, and AESS were established using Cronbach alpha statistics. The reliability coefficient obtained was 0.78 for AESS, 0.83 for APS, and 0.76 for IAUSQ. Data collected were analyzed using Pearson product-moment correlation, multiple regression, and t-test of significance. The findings of the study revealed that while Internet addition did not significantly predict undergraduate students’ academic stress while academic procrastination significantly predicted undergraduate students’ academic stress. The implications of the study were brought to the fore and it was recommended among others that educational psychologists should evolve intervention and proactive prevention strategies that would address issues of academic procrastination and internet addiction so as to avert the trend of academic stress among undergraduate students. Lastly, suggestions for further studies were made.
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