First Advisor

Thomas Burgess

Term of Graduation

Spring 1971

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Anxiety, Portland State University -- Graduate students



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, v, 49 pages)


This study was designed to determine (1) the trend of anxiety level of social work students, term by term, over the academic year; (2) the cyclical trend of anxiety level of social work students within each term and (3) the effects of age and sex on level of anxiety among social work students.

Anxiety was measured with the IPAT - 8 Parallel Form Anxiety Battery. This test was administered to twenty randomly selected first year students in the School of Social Work during the 1969-1970 academic year at Portland State University. Data was collected from six test administrations which took place at the beginning and the end of each term. Analysis of variance in a 2x2x2x3 factorial design simultaneously investigated all four variables.

Some variation among these variables and their interactions was found, but only the "time of quarter" main effect reached statistical significance. A cyclical pattern of anxiety following a high-in-the-beginning, low-at-the-end of each term trend was observed. Anxiety, however, remained quite level over the three terms of the academic year. Nor was anxiety level related to differences in age or sex.

These findings have led the authors to speculate that the uncertainty of a new situation at the beginning of each new term created more anxiety than did the final field evaluations, classroom examinations, papers or other outside influences such as the Kent State incidents etc., and that increased structuring at the beginning of each term might help to allay that anxiety.

Perhaps it could be said that each individual's role as a "social work graduate student" had a greater effect on his anxiety level than did sex, age, or important events not directly related to school expectations.


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