Background: Environmental variables are one of the main factors affecting stress. This research aimed to determine environmental factors affecting students’ stress in the educational environment in Shiraz, Iran, in the framework of survey research.
Methods: The study included a sample of 246 female high school students who were selected by multi-stage cluster sampling from a Shiraz-based educational district. As a tool for collecting data, a questionnaire was prepared by reviewing the relevant literature and in accordance with the research objectives. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was calculated to determine the reliability of the questionnaire, which was equal to 0.72, showing a good reliability. The content validity of the questionnaire was also verified by experts and faculty related to the subject. In order to investigate the construct validity, after examining the internal consistency of the questions, the questionnaire was analyzed using the main components method. Based on the results of factor analysis, four factors including thermal comfort, physical factors, environmental interventions, and security were extracted. Data analysis was done by SPSS 21. The effect of environmental factors on student stress was investigated using one-sample T-test for each of the factors. In addition, Friedman test was used to study the importance of the environmental factors referring to each other.
Results: From the viewpoint of students, thermal comfort (P value < 0.001), physical factors (P value < 0.001), security (P value < 0.001), and environmental interveners (P value < 0.001) comprised more than 60% of the factors affecting students’ stress in the classroom. In addition, average rating (AR) of the environmental variable was as follows: environmental interveners (AR = 3.31), thermal comfort (AR = 2.62), physical factors (AR = 2.50), and security (AR = 1.57).
Conclusions: Environmental factors such as environmental interveners, thermal comfort, physical factors, and security could affect female high school student’s stress expressed in the order of importance. They should be taken into consideration by designers of educational spaces.