Document Type : Original Article


1 General Dentistry, Penang, Malaysia

2 Oral Medicine and Radiology Penang International Dental College, Penang, Malaysia


BACKGROUND: Stress and low psychological well‑being among students in higher education impact
their academic performance. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between
SOC, SDLR, and academic performance in year 3, 4, and 5 undergraduate dental students.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two hundred and ten students completed a validated questionnaire on
SOC and SDLR. The percentage of marks obtained by these students in their year‑end examination
was used as their academic performance. The SOC scores were further divided into three hierarchical
clusters using cluster analysis. The data were analyzed to determine the difference in the SDLR
scores and academic performance among the three clusters. Furthermore, the relationship between
SOC scores, SDLR scores, and academic performance was assessed.
RESULTS: The SDLR scores significantly increased from the low SOC cluster to the high SOC
cluster (P = 0.026). However, there was no significant change in academic performance. A positive
relationship was found between the SOC and the academic performance(R = +0.025; P > 0.05). The SDLR
had a significant positive relationship with both SOC and academic performance (R = +0.27; P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Although SOC may not have a direct influence on academic performance, SDLR
can play an intermediary role. Early identification and timely intervention in students with a weak
SOC and low SDLR can have a beneficial influence on their academic life.


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