PROJECT TOPIC : A SURVEY ON JOB RELATED STRESS AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN ETHIOPE EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE
CHAPTERS: Chapter 1 – 5
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Keywords: job stress among secondary school, stress among secondary school
Background to the Study
In an attempt to systematically and comprehensively analyse the issue of Job stress among teachers in secondary schools, it is pertinent to try and explore the meaning of the term “stress”.
Stress is the term often used to describe distress, fatigue and feelings of not being able to cope. The term stress was derived from the Latin word ‘stringer’ which means to draw tight. The term was used to refer to hardship, strain, adversity, or affliction. Stress does not discriminate. It can affect people of all ages and all categories of workers depending on their circumstances and coping capabilities. That is, everyone is prone to stress.
Stress is a complex phenomenon and it is usually subjective in terms of experience. What may be challenging to one may not be for another, it depends largely on background experiences, temperament and environmental conditions. Stress is a part of life and it is generated by constantly changing situations of life. The term stress refers to an internal state, which results from frustrating or unsatisfying conditions.
Stress is any action or situation that places special physical or psychological demands upon a person, anything that can unbalance an individuals equilibrium and while the psychological response to such demand is surprisingly uniform. Perhaps the one incontestable statement that can be made about stress is that it belongs to everyone, to businessmen and teachers, to mothers and their children to factory workers. Stress is a part of the fabric of life it can be managed but not simply done away with.
Schermerhorn, Hunt and Osborn (2005) defined stress as a state of tension experienced by individuals facing extraordinary demands, constraints, or opportunities. Also Gibson, John and James (1988) defined the concept as a person’s adaptive response to a stimulus that places excessive psychological and physical demands on the person. This definition implies two components: first, is the notion of adaptation, which means that people adapt to stressful circumstances in any of several different ways. Second is the role of the stimulus. The stimulus is generally called a stressor. A stressor is anything that induces stress.
Stress, from whatever perspective one looks at it, is an environmental problem manifested by a state of disequilibrium and an individual as he responds to the demands made on him. It is said to occur when he finds that his capabilities and resources “cannot adequately meet and demands imposed by the environment”. Famojuro (1988, p.1).
According to Douglas (1980) stress is defined as any action or situation that places special physical or psychological demands upon a person. Too little stress can be harmful. Van Fleet (1988), said that too little stress is as important as too much.
Cofer and Appley (1964) defined stress as a state of an organism where he perceives that his well-being is endangered and that he must direct all his energies to its protection. In the same vein Hazarus (1966), referred to stress as a state of imbalance with in an organism that is elicited by an actual/perceived disparity between environmental demands and the organism’s capacity to cope with these demands and is manifested through variety of physiological, emotional and behavioural responses.
Stress is the sum total of all non-specific biological phenomenon elicited by adverse external influences. One feels stressed when one as confronted with unexpected. It is a multi-dimensional concept and has variety of usages in different fields which vary according to specific focus and purpose. Stress is an unavoidable characteristic of life and work.
The Oxford dictionary of psychology by A.M. Colman (2003), defined stress as a psychological and physical strain or tension generated by physical, emotional social, economic or occupational circumstances events or experiences that are difficult to manage or endure. Thus one could say that many events in a persons life can head to stress. These events which places demands upon us are called stressors. Also Denise Allen (2002), defined stress as a feeling we experience when we loose confidence in our capability to with a situation. That is, stress sets in whenever we experience difficulty in the events of life.
Hazards (1994) refers to stress as both the circumstances that place physical or psychological demands on an individual and to the emotional reactions experience in the situations.
According to Nweze (1995) stress is a feeling and direct consequences of personal life attribute and disposition as it affects the individuals reaction to personal life experience including threats, pleasant and negative one. Nweze went further to say that prolonged stress could cause high blood pressure, migraine, heart disease, stroke, liver and kidney problems, headache, peptic ulcer, and sudden deaths in both young and old individuals.
Stress is involved in an environmental situation that received as presenting demand which threatens to exceed the person’s capabilities and resources for meeting it, under conditions were he or she expects a substantial differential in the rewards and costs from meeting the demand versus not meeting it Mc. Grath (1976).
According to Ecker (1987:57) stress is physical response that the human body involves in order to deal with a perceived threat to its stability. In the same vein, Denga (1986) maintained that individuals are different, they differ in the pattern of stress, reactions and different individuals are susceptible to different pattern of stress. A situation may be stress or not, depending on individual attitude towards it.
Stress is our natural way of responding to the demands of our ever changing world. Although we all experience changes and demands regularly, the way that we reacts to these internal and external changes directly affects the degree of stress we experience in line with this Akinboye (2002) define stress as an ineffective and unhealthy reaction to change.
Most times people only view stress from the negative perspective but stress does not entirely came with negative experiences but it also comes with positive experiences which are necessary to our daily, that is why Ogden Tanner (1979) said that some stress is necessary to the well-being and a lack can be harmful Coleman (1980) also stated that stress is a motivator, which helps to bring out the best in individuals.
The focus of this study is on teachers who are seen and regarded as custodian of knowledge, image builder, transmitters of ideas, belief, norms and values of the society from generation to generations and this job has place a lot of burden on them. The teachers in the school certain tries to cope with the challenges of academic job and also with other adjustment problems raising from unconducive learning environment, parents and societal expectations, personal needs and aspirations. Things are even more worst for our teachers because of the poor attitudes of governments, parents, students and the society at large no doubt teachers can’t avoid stress. The fact that teachers are exposed to high level of stress can be an international phenomenon. Moledad (2005).
The issue of sabstress among teachers in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. Borg (1990) conceptualize teacher stress as a negative and potentially harmful to teachers health. In the same vein Kyriacau 1987 defined teacher stress as the experience by a teacher of unpleasant emotions such as tension, frustration, anger and depression resulting from aspects of his work as a teacher.
Coleman (1980), noted that the ability to cope with stress in our daily lives is what makes one an achiever. It has been observed that life is full of stress and strains, but what matter is how one perceive the stressful situation. He went further to say that the most essential point will be that each individual should identify his/her opinion pressure level of stress and live within that level. Thus, he also noted that without occupational stress, life will be dull and uninteresting and of no attractions. Therefore, teachers should be ready to develop positive attitude toward stressors in the school environment so that they will live meaningful and constructive lives
A proper understanding of the concept and the possible sources of job stress may play a vital role in helping to arrive at the various ways of minimizing it’s negative consequences. Thus, this study is designed to investigate concept of stress, it’s effect, sources and management strategies.
Observation has shown that stress is a combination of
h physiological and psychological reaction of the body when it is subject to heavy demands. Thus observation made at secondary school was concluded that they take different categories of stressors. Thus, this study is designed to examine the stress among secondary school teachers in Delta State of Nigeria.
Statement of Problem
One major problem that is one the increase over the last decade is on the issue of job stress among secondary school teachers at their work place (school). The problem relates to every worker irrespective of your age, sex, status, location, qualification training and skill and secondary school teachers are not exempted. Hence Gorton (1982) revealed that stress is prevalence among primary and secondary school teachers.
Furthermore, Thomas Clarke and Lavery (2003) said that in many instances a high proportion of teachers who remained on their jobs freely admitted their dissatisfaction and rated their jobs as very stressful. Also, Mokdad (2005) said that, the fact that teachers are exposed to high level of stress can be a natural phenomenon. In the same vein Reglin and Reitzammer (2008) opined, that teachers regardless of what level they teach are exposed to a high level of stress.
In the Nigeria context today the prevalence of job stress among secondary school teachers is a common phenomenon. Hence this study of job related stress attempts to look into the – issue of job stress among secondary school teachers both male and female by answering some of these questions: what are the effect of age, gender, marital status, experience and location on secondary school teachers job stress?
This study attempts to provide answers to the following questions:
- What is the difference between stress level of male and female teachers?
- What is the difference between stress level of married and unmarried teachers?
- What is the difference between stress level of teachers in urban and rural schools?
- What is the difference between stress level of experienced and inexperienced teachers.
The following hypotheses will be tested in this study to guide the investigation.
- There is no significant difference in the level of stress among male and female teachers.
- There is no significant difference in the degree of stress among married and unmarried teachers.
- There is no significant difference in the location of the school to the stress level of the teacher.
- There is no significant difference in the level of stress among experienced and inexperienced teachers.
Purpose of the Study
Generally the purpose of the study is to examine the forms, causes, effects and remedies of teachers job stress.
Specifically, the objectives of the study include:
- To examine the level of stress among male and female teachers in secondary schools.
- To examine the stress level among married and
unmarried teachers in secondary schools.
- To examine the stress level among rural and urban teachers in secondary schools.
- To examine the stress level among secondary school teachers based on their work experiences.
Significance of the Study
The study is focused mainly on job related stress
among secondary school teachers in Delta State of Nigeria.
Teacher stress can be inadvertently linked to success or failure of a teacher. The general impression about
occupational stress is the feeling of failure due to work ‘overload. But if this is the case and so simple a problem can be solve by merely reducing the amount of work, teacher stress could have been easily done away with. However the problem is not that easy to pinpoint. It is here that a comparative investigation of the factors or reasons for teacher stress becomes important. To combat a problem the awareness of the conditions or factors which lead to it are very important. Stress is a part of everyone’s daily life.
Teaching in Nigeria, however has been regarded by many as no job, to the extent that most people who engage in teaching today hold on to the job because they have ‘nothing else to do. Even though, they teach to earn their living yet, they engage in the job pending the time they get better offer. The question one would ask is that, is the job stress regarded as the problem and why do they believe they have to find another job? Personal interaction with some teachers showed that teaching at all levels in Nigeria is terrible and not regarded as a noble profession, with the ‘exception of teaching at the university level, why?
Therefore, this study will examine specifically the issue of job stress as it relates to secondary school teachers, it highlight the causes, the effects and also, it proffer some possible solution to the issue of job stress among secondary school teachers. Thus, at the end of this study, secondary school teacher must have understood fully the effect of job related stress and how they can manage and cope with it.
Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The study as focused mainly on job related stress
among secondary school teachers in Delta State of Nigeria.
The study was limited to few selected secondary school teachers in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.
Five (5) secondary schools in the local government area uses randomly selected they include:
- Auntie Rose Secondary School (Abraka)
- Government Secondary School (Eku)
- Abraka Gramma School (Abraka)
- Government Secondary School (Okpara)
- Erhimu Secondary School (Abraka).
Definition of Terms
Some vital terms as used in this study are defined as follows:
Stress: stress can be defined as the emotional and physical way in which our bodies respond to pressure stress can also be defined as a pressure or condition that causes hardship.
Job Stress: Job stress means improper occupational stress or burden that badly affects the psychological and physical condition of the worker himself. It can also be seen as the harmful physical and emotional response that occur when job requirements do not match the worker’s capabilities, resources and needs.
Stressor: An agent, condition or other stimulus that causes stress to an organism it can also be seen as an event or condition that may be purely physical, social or psychological that triggers a stress reaction.
Work/Job: Work is describe as an activity involving mental or physical effort in order to achieve a purpose or result. It is an activity people engage in, in order to earn a living.
Anxiety: Anxiety is a displeasing feeling of fear and concern. It is an emotional state of fear and uncertainty about tomorrow.
Distress: Distress is a negative stress. It is a stress disorder that is caused by adverse events and it influences a person’s ability to cope. A state of physical or mental suffering.
Eustress: Eustress is the opposite of distress stated above. It is the positive aspect of stress and it is often called the curative stress because it gives a person the ability to generate the best performance or maximum output.
Burnout: A burnout is described as a mental and/or physical exhaustion caused by excessive stress. The experience of long term exhaustion and diminished interest.