Coping mechanisms of part-time students

Jessie C.K. Yum, David Kember, Irene Siaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


A characteristic shared by the majority of adult students is that they are undertaking parttime study. For these adult learners one of the major difficulties is how to find time for their study. This paper reports the coping mechanisms that parttime adult students adopt to meet the additional demands that study puts on their existing commitments to work, family and social lives. Data were collected from 53 parttime students in eight universities in Hong Kong through semistructured interviews. A model featuring three coping mechanisms (sacrifice, support and negotiation of arrangements) within four domains (self, work, family and social life) was used for the analysis. Whether or not these coping mechanisms are operationalized to a sufficient extent can have a significant impact upon the students' progress with their courses. The analytical grid provides a framework for counselling and advising adult learners. Parttime adult students can also use the model to evaluate their own situations and determine which coping mechanisms will work for them to deal with time management issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-317
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Lifelong Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2005


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