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Caner, Sonay
This study was conducted to determine and classify the reasons for the fears and concerns that deteriorate students’ quality of life and identify the strategies they use to cope with them. The study population consisted of students in at least four-year long programs at a public University in Turkey during the 2013-2014 academic year. The sample included 403 participants. The participants were asked to answer three questions on a written document in this study, which was limited to findings obtained from the data of the study group members who were selected from the undergraduates studying at İnönü University. These questions were: Write your fears and concerns that complicate your life and reduce your quality of life. To what do you attribute the reasons for these fears and concerns? What do you do to cope with these fears and concerns?. The data obtained in writing were analyzed using descriptive analysis. A coding form for the analysis was prepared in compliance with the basic principles of this method. The reliability of the coding used in the study was examined for the codings of all data. The data were organized under three themes, considering the study questions. These themes are: types of fears and concerns, reasons for fears and concerns and methods for coping with fears and concerns. The subthemes of these themes were determined in the second stage of the study. The data obtained in the main themes and subthemes were related to one another in the third stage of the analysis, and frequency distributions were reported with direct quotations. The data indicated that students’ greatest fears and concerns were related to the present time. These fears and concerns were ordered from the most to least significant as follows: academic failure, lack of self-confidence, family-related issues (losing them or one of them, their attitudes, being away from them), issues related to bodily integrity and health, politics and government, social relations, financial possibilities, phobias, authority, spirituality and beliefs. The participants’ fears and concerns related to their future were from most to least significant: issues related to finding a job, uncertainty about the future, failure to perform what their professions require or disliking their professions, starting a family, financial possibilities and natural disasters. Participants attributed the reasons for their fears and concerns to external issues rather than internal issues. These reasons were from most to least significant: reasons related to other people, the educational system, politics and government, family, the economy, conditions in their department, spirituality and beliefs, geographical and economic conditions, unknown creatures and social media. The internal reasons were from most to least significant: reasons related to their characteristics, lack of self-confidence, issues in their lives, their health status, intolerance of uncertainties and lack of sufficient professional skills. The strategies used by the participants in this study to cope with the fears and concerns were from most to least significant: working, doing nothing or procrastinating, making suggestions for themselves and avoidance. Participants selected seeking psychological support as the least significant strategy for coping with fears and concerns. With these findings in mind, the reasons why students fail to seek psychological support to cope with the fears and concerns can be investigated.