QUALITATIVE INVESTIGATION ON EXPERIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS IN THE CONTEXT OF BUDDHA AMONG THAI UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS*

Authors

  • Tawan Watakit
  • Arunya Tuicomepee
  • Supapan Kotrajaras

Keywords:

Psychological Distress, Dukkha in Buddhist Context, University Students, Qualitative Study

Abstract

The study aimed to examine the experience of psychological distress in the context of Buddhism or “Dukkha” through qualitative method. Key informants were 21 undergraduate students from universities in Thailand. They were purposively selected using a set of criteria. Instruments included the Thai version of the College Student Adjustment Questionnaires, the Dukkha Characteristic Evaluation Checklist, and interview guidelines. The researcher interviewed key informants individually and analyzed data by grouping the data with the same or similar issues using the ATLAS.ti program. Data creditability was secured using a data triangulation method and an expert panel. The findings yielded four main themes. First, key informants defined their perceived psychological distress as frustration that manifests itself in the form of hatred as well as symptoms of distress, such as sorrow, lamentation, and feelings of physical pain, grief, and despair. Second, they mentioned psychological distress experiences with common characteristics, such as anger, distraction and remorse, and disconsolation and despair. Third, the informants reported psychological distress caused by their strong attachment, greed, irritation, and anxiety. Finally, they identified how they relieve psychological distress by using inner strengths, such as reflective thinking, equanimity, and acceptance of the truth as well as a supportive environment to buffer their psychological distress

Author Biographies

Tawan Watakit

Dissertation, Doctor of Philosophy, Educational Administration, Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University. This dissertation was funded by THE 90th ANNIVERSARY OF CHULALONGKORN UNIVERSITY FUND (Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund).
1 Ph.D. Candidate in Counseling Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.


Arunya Tuicomepee

Ph.D., Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.


Supapan Kotrajaras

Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.

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