Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Career Mothers and Health Implications of Work Place Stress: Role of Libraries in Stress Management

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Career Mothers and Health Implications of Work Place Stress: Role of Libraries in Stress Management

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study examines the health implications of workplace stress on career women with respect to their age and educational qualification. Sixty - nine (69) working women from a Women Fellowship of about 86 located at Agbowo, Ibadan were used for the study. Akinboye's Response to Change Test (RTCT) or Work Stress Inventory was used to collate the data and analyzed. Two hypotheses were tested and rejected. Further analysis shows that an average of 92% of graduate respondents between age (31-50) experienced high stress, implying that there is significant difference in respondents' response to stress experienced on the basis of age and educational qualification. Thus indicating that age and educational qualification can sometimes determine who experience stress or not. The analyses reveal that older career mothers with higher degrees experienced high levels of stress than younger ones. The library is recommended to play a crucial role in managing stress in the workplace, which is mainly to make information materials/resources available to staff and workers.

Introduction

Work stress is recognized worldwide as major challenge to the health of organizations and its workers. Thus stressful situations in the workplace are inevitable. Stress is an essential part of life. It provides excitement; impetus and motivation as well as distress and anxiety (Payne Elaine and Whittaker Lesley, 2000). Some people believe it is a silent killer. Indeed, life itself is considered as stressful. Stress is the result of a person's inability to cope and adjust to traumatic or difficult situations/ challenges of life. Stress is an emotional, mental, physical or social response to any undesirable experience. Thus, stressful experiences can be devastating and may even result in sudden death.

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (2005) describes stress in psychology and biology as any strain or interferences that disturbs the functioning of an organism. It is the human responses to physical and psychological defences. If stress is too powerful or defences inadequate, a psychosomatic or other mental disorder occurs. Stress occurs when threatening or challenging situations are faced and the individual considers that there is an imbalance between the demands being made and his or her ability to deal with them.

Stress is multidimensional in perspective. In other words stress has biological/ physical and psychological dimensions. Wikipedia (2007) categorize stress using different criteria, but generally stress was grouped as physical or psychological. This was further explained that the physical stress is the one that irritate or brings immediate or long term negative effect on your physical or bodily health. This may not necessarily affect your psychological (or Mental) state. Whereas the psychological stress brings immediate or long term irritation or negative effect on your psychological or mental state, this may not necessarily have any immediate effect on your physical state. But these two groups can be very interactive i.e. your physical state can affect your psychological state and vice versa.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes it as a "Worldwide epidemic" this is because 90% of visit to hospitals or physicians are said to be due to stress. About 40% of employee turnover are due to stress related problems. Akinboye (2002) described stress as a force which affects human beings physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. It is an ineffective and unhealthy reaction to change. Stress is therefore, the reaction of man to unwanted mental, physical, emotional, social and spiritual experience.

Statement of the Problem

Mothers traditionally have an enormous responsibility of looking after their husbands, children and a very challenging home responsibility. Today, mothers are not only expected to perform their traditional roles in the home, they are also expected to contribute toward financing and supplying the family needs. …

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