University transition: major and minor life stressors, personality characteristics and mental health

Psychol Med. 1994 Feb;24(1):81-7. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700026854.


One hundred and two first-year students at an independent college in Taiwan participated in a questionnaire study. Measurements of stressors (major life events, minor daily hassles and perceived university stress), personality (locus of control, extraversion and neuroticism) and mental health (depression, anxiety and somatic symptoms) were taken. Using multivariate analyses, we found that: (1) life events predicted anxiety, while daily hassles predicted depression; (2) locus of control and extraversion correlated negatively, while neuroticism correlated positively with university stress; and (3) neuroticism had a main effect on symptom reportings across the board, while extraversion had a vulnerability effect on somatic symptoms. Relationships between life events and daily hassles, and the roles of personality in the stress process, are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Extraversion, Psychological
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Neurotic Disorders / etiology
  • Personality*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Universities*