The impact of stress on student tardiness and subsequent throughput rate of engineering students: A case study
International Journal of Engineering Education
Vaal University of Technology, Private Bag X021, Vanderbijlpark, 1900, South Africa
Stress is any change that requires a person to adjust to a new situation and is registered in the brain as a threat that causes a stress response in the body. 'Student tardiness' is the term ascribed to students who suffer from tardiness, which is defined as the quality or condition of not being on time. Student tardiness is currently experienced in many higher educational institutions, contributing to poor academic achievements and subsequent low throughput rates. Tardiness is viewed as a construct, which is an abstract concept deliberately created to represent a collection of concrete forms of behaviour including stress or anxiety. The case study on which this article is based explored the relationship between stress or anxiety and tardiness of engineering students, establishing a direct correlation between stress or anxiety and the throughput rate of an engineering module called Design Project III. The empirical study incorporated an ex-post facto study involving a preexperimentallexploratory design using descriptive statistics. The results of this research were applied to three separate tests which indicated a statistically significant relationship between stress or anxiety and the final throughput rate (75%) of the module Design Project III. Moreover, the presence of a negative correlation indicates that a decrease in the negative aspects of stress or anxiety will result in an increase in the final throughput rate of the module, subsequently influencing the academic success of engineering students. © 2008 TEMPUS Publications.