n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Further observations on study difficulty among Nigerian students : psychological aspects and psychosocial correlates

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-1421



To investigate how study difficulty is associated with psychiatric morbidity, personality and psychosocial factors, the University College London Study Questionnaire (UCLSQ), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), the 30-item version of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30) and a schedule on psychosocial variables were administered on 2600 randomly selected undergraduates in a Nigerian university. The results from the 2508 analysed questionnaires show that the neuroticism factor of the EPQ had significant positive relationship with disturbance on all seven subscales of the UCLSQ. Anxiety (ANX), Obsessionality (OBS), Depression (DEP), Distractability (DIS), Low motivation (L.MOT), Somatic (SOM) and Work satisfaction (W.SAT). Similarly, psychoticism was significantly associated with disturbance on all aspects except work satisfaction. However, the extroversion factor was observed to be significantly associated with disturbance on only 3 aspects (ANX, OBS and SOM), to be protective on one aspect (W.SAT) and to be unrelated to 3 aspects (DEP, DIS and L.MOT). In addition, GHQ-30 scores were significantly associated with 5 aspects of study difficulty: OBS, DEP, DIS, L.MOT and SOM. This pattern indicates that study difficulty was associated with psychopathology and commoner amongst students who were relatively high scorers on neuroticism and psychoticism. The results also show that self-reported academic problems, financial strain, polygamous family background, strained relationship between respondents parents, self-reported poor mental and physical health were significantly associated with study difficulty. These findings suggest an interplay of personality and psychosocial factors in the development of study difficulty and may be useful in the planning of preventive and psychotherapeutic strategies.

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