OVERCROWDING, AGE AND GENDER DIFFERENCES IN THE MANIFESTATION OF STATE ANXIETY AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN A NIGERIAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITY

Most students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria have a hard time procuring adequate accommodation. Hence, they are usually left with the option of having to share a room with many people resulting in over-crowded hostels. This study sought to examine the effect of overcrowding, age and gender on the state anxiety levels of undergraduates in a Nigerian public university. 192 participants were selected from male and female students residing in the hostels and off-campus with age range of 16 - 30 (mean age = 22.80; SD = 2.70). Average person per room was used to determine how crowded the room was and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory form Y - 1 (STAI - Y1) was administered on the participants. A three-way ANOVA showed a non significant interaction effect between overcrowding, age and gender on the manifestation of anxiety among university undergraduates, F(2, 180) = 2.22, p = 0.11. The result also revealed a significant main effect of gender on the manifestation of state anxiety among undergraduates, F(1, 180) = 18.212, p = 0.00, where males manifested more anxiety than female undergraduates. There was also a significant interaction effect of overcrowding and gender F(1, 180) = 5.67, p = 0.02. It was concluded that university undergraduates should be provided with adequate accommodation in higher institutions they attend in order to reduce overcrowding and state anxiety among undergraduates. KEY WORDS: Anxiety, Overcrowding, Undergraduates, Nigeria.

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