The aim of this study was to explore the negative effects that the perceived academic pressure of the Leaving Certificate can have on the mental wellbeing of students. This research focused on both 5th and 6th year, male and female students and aimed to establish the relationship between perceived academic pressure and levels of depression anxiety stress and self-efficacy.
A total of 210 participants were recruited from two separate schools and given a questionnaire booklet each to complete, containing three self-reflective questionnaires that addressed the participants current emotional states.
Analysis of the data using SPSS showed a relationship between perceived academic pressure and depression, anxiety, stress and self-efficacy. It also highlighted a difference across gender and year of study for levels of perceived academic pressure.
The implications of the findings of this research include the need for an intervention within the Leaving Certificate programme at reducing the levels of perceived academic pressure of students as we can see it is negatively affecting the students’ mental well being. Author keywords: Perceived academic pressure, depression, anxiety, stress, self-efficacy, leaving certificate, gender, year of study