Occupational Stress and Working Women
142 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2014 Last revised: 4 Mar 2014
Date Written: February 23, 2014
The study was designed to analyze the nature of occupational stress among the working women in Bhubaneswar with respect to the kind of their employment and individual differences, and to examine the relationship of such stress with personality attributes, and emotional intelligence. The sample consisted of 550 subjects from 11 occupational groups varying in age, level of employment and working hours. For each subject, data were collected on 10 measures of occupational stress, 4 measures of coping resources, 5 measures of big five personality traits, one measure of Type A/B personality, and 7 measures of emotional intelligence. The tests used in the present study were (i) The Occupational Stress Inventory-R, (ii) NEO Personality Inventory-3, (iii) Type-A Personality Test-R, and (iv) The Emotional Intelligence Measures, which are all widely used standardized tests.
The findings of the study revealed that four groups of women employees namely police professionals, bureaucrats, corporate engineers and employees in the unorganized sector have both strong maladaptive role stress as well as psychological stress and strain. Bank employees and government engineers have mild maladaptive role stress and psychological stress and strain. All other groups namely doctors, nurses, administrative staff, school teachers, and college teachers have both normal adaptive role stress and psychological stress and strain. When their personal coping resources were examined, it was found that occupational stress accordingly restricted and reduced their coping resources i.e., employees with higher occupational stress have lower coping resources and vice versa.
Results relating to individual differences revealed that occupational stress was highest among the employees below 30 years of age when their personal coping resources were very limited. With increasing age, personal coping resources increased and occupational stress gradually decreased. With respect to motherhood, the results indicated that both occupational role stress and psychological stress and strain increased for employees having more children and their coping resources also decreased accordingly. With regard to level of employment, both occupational stress and coping resources were higher for the middle level employees. On the other hand, with more of working hours, occupational stress increased having decreasing personal coping resources. Finally, it was concluded that occupational stress and coping resources of the women employees were significantly influenced by their types of jobs and factors of individual differences.
The data were also subjected to correlational analyses and factor analyses to explain the relationship between big five traits, occupational stress and coping resources. Large number significant correlations (159/171) clearly suggested that each of the big five personality traits have significant influence on occupational stress and coping resources of the employees. While four of the traits namely openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness helped to control and manage occupational stress by enhancing coping resources, neuroticism increased the stress and decreased coping resources. Five factors were extracted by factor analysis which showed that some of the big five traits solely and also some of them combined emerged into independent factors which influenced occupational stress. The factors were named as ‘Openness-Extraversion’, ‘Agreeableness-Openness’, ‘Conscientiousness’, ‘Neuroticism’, and ‘Extraversion’. Similarly, the results revealed that Type A personality were more vulnerable to occupational stress compared to Type B and other personality type. Type A personality group has significant higher means in seven of the occupational stress measures, and lower means in 4 of the personal coping resources than the Type B group.
Finally, the relationship between emotional intelligence and occupational stress was examined by correlational analyses and factor analyses. Large number of significant correlations (187/210) among the measures clearly implied that the seven markers of emotional intelligence have strong influence on the development of coping resources and the control of occupational stress. Five independent factors namely ‘Emotional-resilience’, ‘Intuitive-sensitivity’, ‘Emotional-self-awareness’, ‘Motivation’, and ‘Interpersonal-sensitivity’ were extracted in factor analysis. All these factors have been shown to influence occupational stress and coping resources of the employees. Finally, the findings of the study pointed several beneficial implications for the women employees in general and women employees of Bhubaneswar in particular.
Keywords: Personality, Attributes, Personality and Occupational Stress, Emotional intelligence and Occupational Stress, Occupational Stress and Working Women
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