Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Gender and Age Differences in the Experience of Occupational Stress among University Lecturers in Edo State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Gender and Age Differences in the Experience of Occupational Stress among University Lecturers in Edo State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

University education is fundamental to the educational system of any country. University lecturers at this level of the nation's educational system are very important factors in the realization of the educational objectives of the country. It is incumbent on University lecturers to raise or bring up students in character and learning to be qualified for their various degrees and certificates and contributes immensely to the development of the country. In order to achieve these noble objectives, university lecturers must put up the highest level of productivity. It however ironical to note that these egg-heads that are supposed to have enabling environment to contribute their wealth of experience to the development of the country, seem to be stressed beyond their psychological composure and elastic limits, irrespective of their gender and age.

Occupation stress is receiving increasing concern as killer of workers and productivity deterrent and many indices across the globe indicate that many workers die yearly due to stress related issues (Osumah, 2017). Many do not even give the slightest thought to stress and yet it counts among the common sources of death (Olusakin, 2002) cited in Osumah (2017). Stress is so daring, as it attacks every category of worker, from those performing menial jobs right through to the executives and managers.

Morgan, King, Weisz & Schopler (2006) conceived stress to be an internal state which can be caused by physical demands on the body or by environmental and social situations which are evaluated as potentially harmful, uncontrollable or exceeding resources for coping. Thus, stress can be seen as an inner and outer demand which may be physiology arousing and emotionally taxing and call for cognitive or behavioural responses. Occupational stress is our responses to stimuli called stress inducer and they are the events that generally produce in a work place. They may be temporary or chronic, leading to negative health consequences or outcome changing a person's life (Olaitan, Talabi, Olumorin and Braimah, 2014). Occupational stress therefore denotes an excessive force (too much work) which by its action on worker causes him harm.

Occupational stress occurs when the worker is destabilized because of not being able to put with the demands of job as expected by his or her employer. Any circumstance which threatens or is perceived to threaten the worker's wellbeing and coping abilities lead to occupational stress. Unfavourable working conditions, heavy workloads, organizational problems, paucity of resources, lack of support or autonomy, the size of the classroom or school, students general attitude to learning, some parental insults or assaults, delay in promotion, delayed and or unpaid salaries and allowances, record keeping are some of the characteristics of occupational stress. The presence of these conditions places the worker in a state of anxiety, school temperedness, fuzziness, loss of composure, fidgeting, loss of concentration, loss of balance, lack of self-control, forgetfulness, signs of headache, stomach upset, frequenting restroom, sleeplessness, poor momentary vision, momentary hard of hearing, weak limbs, and shaking body (Osumah, 2017).

Oboegbulem (2011) identified those stressors which are intrinsic to the job and which border on unpleasant working conditions as: total school working hours, physical or environmental factors like overpopulation of students; problems with the school plant; inadequate and ill-equipped teachers with lackadaisical attitudes towards work; students with poor academic background and negative attitude towards learning; parental ambivalence towards the educational well-being of their children; low motivation; inadequate resources to run the school, low prospects of advancement, lack of job security and poor staff development programmes. Others are personal problems including role conflict; societal problems and pressures; financial problems and domestic worries (Adebola and Mukhtari, 2008). …

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