Original Paper

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 63-67

First online:

Life events and anxiety in Chinese medical students

  • X. C. LiuAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Shandong Mental Health Center
  • , S. OdaAffiliated withDepartment of Mental Hygiene, Tsukuba University
  • , X. PengAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Shandong Mental Health Center
  • , K. AsaiAffiliated withAsai Hospital

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The authors studied a sample of 537 Chinese medical students aged 15–21 years using Zung's Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and a life events checklist. The results showed that test pressure, less free time, peer competition, failure in a test, and financial problems were the most common stressful experiences for medical students during the previous 12 months. Social and personal problems were rated the highest on scores of perceived stress. Of all students, 12.5% scored over the cut-off point on the SAS previously established to indicate risk of psychiatric disorder. Using a stepwise regression analysis, it was shown that poor health status, little physical exercise, financial problems in the family, test pressure, conflict with classmates, the personality trait of introversion, getting up late in the morning, and freshman status were independently associated with the presence of anxiety.