Exploring Stress and Social Support in Aboriginal Students at the University of Guelph





Aboriginal students are enrolling in Canadian universities in increasing numbers yet their completion rates are lower than non-Aboriginal students. University students experience a variety of stressors, and these have been shown to correlate with social support and life satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to explore stress and social support in Aboriginal students attending the University of Guelph. All University of Guelph students on an Aboriginal student list-serve maintained by the Aboriginal Resource Centre were invited to participate via email. Interested students were directed to an online survey containing standardized measures of stress, social support, and life satisfaction. Twenty-two (response rate 22%) students responded. Their mean age was 24 years (SD 6.18), and most (40%) were single or (40%) dating. Students reported normal levels of social support (5.29) and stress (122.32), most indicated a moderate amount of satisfaction with life (19.55) which was less than the norm. The highest levels of stress were reported for future uncertainty and academic performance.

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