Factors causing stress among women lecturers in higher education in the North West Province
Loate, Irene Madiala
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Stress is attributed to the inability to cope with the demands that one encounters. Stress consequences have a negative effect: physically (headaches), behaviourally, (overreacting) emotionally (fatigue) and mentally (forgetfulness). Occupational stress, therefore, is the inability to achieve job-related performance goals. This study was undertaken to explore the origin of stress experienced by women lecturing in higher education and the effects of such stress, including their management techniques. In chapter one the problem statement, the aim of the study as well as definition of concepts are discussed. Chapter two deals with the nature, source and effects of stress on women in general as cited by the literature. This includes explanation of the concept of stress as well as the differences between eustress and distress. This chapter further explains the two approaches to stress-focusing on stressors and reaction to stress. The devastating effects of stress come into play physically, behaviourally, emotionally and mentally. Stress symptoms such as headaches and cardiovascular problems are indicative of more serious complications. The third chapter explores stress management strategies; two approaches have been identified, conscious and defensive coping. In chapter four the focus is on the target population: stress experienced by women lecturing in higher education, backed up by a literature survey. Sex discrimination and male dominance followed by balancing home and work responsibilities have been identified as the main sources of stress for women lecturers. The chapter further examines the effects of their stress. The fifth chapter documents how the empirical research was conducted. A self-developed stress inventory was constructed for women lecturers in particular, as a means of collecting data from them. In the sixth chapter interpretation and analysis of findings of the study are discussed. There were some sources, effects and stress management strategies identified that concurred with those discussed in the literature and others that contradicted findings reported in the literature. The last chapter makes recommendations based on the findings of the study.
- Education