Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Causes of Stress and Burnout among Working Mothers in Pakistan

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Causes of Stress and Burnout among Working Mothers in Pakistan

Article excerpt

In the modern age, as the demands increase, it gets harder for women to work without being stressed. The focus of this research is on the stress and burnout among working women in private and public sector. The word stress generally represents the feeling when one is stuck with a problem that is unable to handle. Employee feel suffocated and start feeling pressured by that problem. So, stress can be defined as a threat or a challenge to one's well-being. There are various types of stress. Job stress leads to job burnout. Job burnout can be defined as when one is unsure of one's ability to perform in their job, keeping in view the value of their job cynically. The key dimensions of job burnout are: cynicism, exhaustion and personal accomplishment/ performance. This is going to be a qualitative research. Interviews will be conducted in order to collect information. Open ended questions related to stress and job burnout among women will be facilitated.


During the mid-1970s burnout was introduced by Herbert Freudenberger. Burnout is defined as long-term exposure to chronic job stress resulting in emotional exhaustion (Freudenberger, 1974; Maslach & Jackson, 1981). In the research conducted in the years 1998 and 1999, the focus was mainly on the health factor among women. Various surveys were conducted to find out the vital stress factors and job burnout factors. Guglielmi and Tatrow (1998) in their research, emphasized that organizational climate had a major impact on increased job burnout rate, mainly in female teachers. Whereas, Bischoff, DeTienne, and Quick's (1999) main focus was to find out which factors affect the mental health of the female employees of both private and public sectors the most. It was evident from the studies that office politics and task conflicts were major stressors that increased job burnout rate. The gaps of the researches in these years were that, they only focused on a single set of female employees such as teachers, doctors or industry workers rather than conducting a survey to finding out the main stress factors faced by female employees regardless of their fields.

Models of Burnout

As a part of this suggestion, researchers implied that a comprehensive theory of burnout had yet to be developed. Indeed, a main focus in this research was the recognition of the need for theoretical models of burnout that would help to join together the research with reference to burnout. Since that time, there has been much greater attention given to both the development and testing of models of burnout (Cordes & Dougherty, 1993; Lee & Ashforth, 1993; Leiter, 1993; Maslach, 1993).

In the years 2004-06, the research shifted to organizational variables such as conflicts, unfavorable work environment, blocked career and work overload. The research explained that the organizational climate measures of Clarity, Work Pressure and the Work Stressors Index, posed major differences. Kalbers and Fogarty (2005) proposed a study that focused mainly on attaining evidence of the job burnout tendencies of accounting professionals. Hakanen, Bakker, and Schaufeli (2006) presented a Job Demands-Resources Model focusing on teachers. This consisted of two phases from work-related well-being among members of staff, namely energetically process (job demands) and a motivational process (job resources), linked hypothetically. The study concluded that the job demand was more prominent among the two processes. Goddard, O'Brien, and Goddard (2006) later focused on burnouts in elements of school environment. Ramarajan and Barsade (2006) elaborated in their work that the impact of job demands, trait and organizational respect negative affectivity on stress and burnout had been observed in the human services field as the longitudinal field study. The gap of these researches was that they conducted surveyed or emphasized on only by focusing on a single institute rather than covering a wider area. …

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