Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health Promotion (PhD)

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Bart Hammig

Committee Member

Susan Patton

Second Committee Member

Paul Calleja

Third Committee Member

Leah Jean Henry

Fourth Committee Member

Lori Murray


coping, coping self-efficacy, nursing student, stress, stress management, text message


Purpose: The purpose of the two studies was to develop a text message intervention and examine its effects on lowering perceived stress and increasing coping self-efficacy among nursing students. We also explored stress perceptions and investigated student satisfaction with the text message stress management program. Methods: For the first study, twenty three students participated in the focus groups for intervention development. Sample messages were presented to participants and feedback was requested. The messages were modified based on student feedback. The second study utilized an experimental pre/post design with a convenience sample (N=101) to examine the effects of the text message stress management intervention. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted to control for initial individual differences in pre perceived stress and pre self-efficacy scores. Results: All participants reported feelings of perceived stress and feedback resulted in a 30 message text message intervention. One message, Monday through Friday, was texted over a six week period. There was not a statistically significant difference in post perceived stress scores. However, there was a statistically significant difference in post intervention coping self-efficacy scores between the intervention and control groups, F (1,85) = 14.18, p < .01, ɲ2 = .14. The students provided favorable feedback about the intervention. Conclusions: Text messages are an effective means to communicate and provide support to students. This intervention shows promise in increasing student confidence and ability to cope with stress. Many factors, such as time in the semester and life events, contribute to feelings of perceived stress. Nonetheless, increasing self-efficacy in effectively coping with stress could be beneficial in buffering future stress encounters as students transition into professional practice.