ERG SES D 03, Interactive Poster Session
Interactive Poster Session
Currently, in the European countries students face great amount of pressure to excel in studies in order to increase their value on the job market and ensure their future employment and reasonable earnings. Socioeconomic insecurity and unfavourable situation on the job market forces many people to work beyond what is considered reasonable and healthy. Work addiction understood as unhealthy attitude towards work is gaining increasing attention among researchers as it becomes a serious problem for public health. It is suggested that workaholic tendencies can be observed in students with reference to study attitudes and behaviours. Therefore, a concept of "study addiction" was introduced and defined within work addiction framework as a compulsive over-involvement in studying which interferes with functioning in other domains and is detrimental for the individual and/or his/her environment (Atroszko, Andreassen, Griffiths, Pallesen, 2015). Initial studies also show that learning enjoyment is positively related to study addiction (Atroszko, 2015), which is congruent with addiction model in which addictive behavior starts with initial pleasure that is brought by a specific behavior or substance. The concept of study addiction shares common characteristics with study engagement in terms of time and energy devoted to learning, however, while the latter one is a positive phenomenon, the former one is negative. Initial studies showed that study addiction is related to higher levels of stress and exam stress, lower quality of life (Atroszko et al., 2015), as well as depression, anxiety, loneliness, worse physical health, worse sleep quality, and higher cardiovascular reactivity to stress which is considered to be potential risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (Atroszko, 2015). This poses important problem for human capital development as the potential of many talented, determined and diligent students might be at risk. Preliminary longitudinal studies show that study addiction is a temporally stable construct (Atroszko, Andreassen, Griffiths, Pallesen, 2016a) and it is positively related to work addiction after students graduate and enter the labour market (Atroszko, Andreassen, Griffiths, Pallesen, 2016b). It is estimated that around 8-10% of students are manifesting symptoms of study addiction (Atroszko, 2015). This means that with about 20 million students in Europe (Eurostat, 2015), there could be more than 1,5 million study addicts whose psychosocial functioning is significantly impaired due to unhealthy learning attitudes. Overinvolvement in studying has it costs for mental and physical health, but does it bring benefits in terms of better performance in studying? Taking into account that study addiction is defined in terms of pathological addictive process and is related to increased levels of stress, it can be expected that productivity of study addicted individuals will be hindered by excessive chronic stress reactions. Therefore, it is hypothesised that study addiction is related negatively to academic performance.
In Autumn 2013 more than 2559 students from Norway and more than 2177 students from Poland took part in an on-line survey concerning attitudes towards learning and work. Students were recruited from different universities and faculties. Original psychometric tools for measuring study addiction and study related attitudes and behaviours were used along with widely used psychological questionnaires measuring personality traits, and grade point average. It was a correlational study. Hierarchical regression analyses were performed.
The hypothesis was confirmed. When controlling for demographic variables and personality, study addiction was negatively related to academic performance both in Poland and Norway. These results are essential from the perspective of developing policies for optimal development of human capital in European countries. It is necessary to identify students at high risk of study addiction and address their unhealthy learning attitudes in a way that will promote productive learning and easier transition to labour market, as well as their future professional development. Three factors have to be taken into account to emphasize the practical significance of these results. Firstly, improving the quality and efficiency of education and training as well as making lifelong learning reality are among the main objectives of European Union in Strategic framework – Education & Training 2020 (European Commission, 2015). Secondly, study addiction is related to deteriorated health. Third, this study showed that study addiction is negatively related to academic performance. If the aim is lifelong effective learning, and if inappropriate learning attitudes are dangerous for health, wellbeing, and productivity then healthy learning should be one of the vital dimensions included in developing optimal education policies and programs in Europe.
Atroszko, P. A. (2015). The structure of study addiction: selected risk factors and the relationship with stress, stress coping and psychosocial functioning (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland. Atroszko, P. A., Andreassen, C. S., Griffiths, M. D., & Pallesen, S. (2015). Study addiction - A new area of psychological study: Conceptualization, assessment, and preliminary empirical findings. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 4, 75–84. Atroszko, P. A., Andreassen, C. S., Griffiths, M. D., & Pallesen, S. (2016a). Study Addiction: A Cross-Cultural Longitudinal Study Examining Temporal Stability and Predictors of Its Changes. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5, 357–362. Atroszko, P. A., Andreassen, C. S., Griffiths, M. D., & Pallesen, S. (2016b). The relationship between study addiction and work addiction: A cross-cultural longitudinal study. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5,708–714. European Commission, Draft 2015 Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the Strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020), Brussels, 26.8.2015 COM (2015) 408 final. Eurostat, Key figures on Europe. 2015 edition, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2015.
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