Journal of the Scientific Society

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 105--109

Job stress and its associated factors among working women in Pokhara Metropolitan, Nepal


Jenny Ojha1, Tulsi Ram Bhandari2, Renu Karki3,  
1 Department of Nursing, School of Health and Allied Sciences, Pokhara University, Pokhara, Nepal
2 Department of Public Health, School of Health and Allied Sciences, Pokhara University, Pokhara, Nepal
3 Department of Pharmacy, School of Health and Allied Sciences, Pokhara University, Pokhara, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Tulsi Ram Bhandari
Department of Public Health, School of Health and Allied Sciences, Pokhara University, Pokhara
Nepal

Abstract

Background: Stress is a relationship between the person and the environment which has become one of the most serious health issues worldwide. Globally, the reported prevalence of stress shows 28% of men and 53% of women go through work-family stress. The prevalence is even more in Asian countries. In India, 87% of women are stressed for time to manage work and family. Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted among the working women of Pokhara Metropolitan. A stratified random sampling technique was used in the study. The total number of samples was divided into each category of the organization as per the percentage available. A self-administered structured questionnaire was given to all 183 women from the selected public as well as a private organization. Descriptive statistics were reported for demographic, socioeconomic, and various environmental as well as the nature of job-related factors of the respondents. A Chi-square test was used to find out the association between the variables. Results: This study revealed that the prevalence of job stress was 47.5% by Effort Reward Imbalance Questionnaire at mean score 40.08 (standard deviation ± 4.97). The age range of the participants was between 20 and 40 years, with a median age of 29 years. The majority of working women (61.2%) were from the age group of 20–30 years. The various factors found to be associated with job stress were participant's age, family type, health-care benefit at the office, and provision of health-care benefits. Conclusions: The findings of the study reveal that the overall prevalence of job stress was found to be 47.5%. Emphasis should be given to health-care benefits at the office of women as well as for the provision of proper family support and care during their job.



How to cite this article:
Ojha J, Bhandari TR, Karki R. Job stress and its associated factors among working women in Pokhara Metropolitan, Nepal.J Sci Soc 2020;47:105-109


How to cite this URL:
Ojha J, Bhandari TR, Karki R. Job stress and its associated factors among working women in Pokhara Metropolitan, Nepal. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Feb 28 ];47:105-109
Available from: https://www.jscisociety.com/text.asp?2020/47/2/105/294801


Full Text



 Introduction



Stress is a relationship between the person and the environment. Its effect is seen according to individual and the resources available for coping.[1] Occupational stress, also known as job stress, has been defined as the experience of negative emotional states such as frustration, worry, anxiety, and depression attributed to work-related factors.[2] Job stress differs depending upon individual experience and gender. It is not that all people react to the event the same way.[3]

Life at work seems difficult for working women. A study shows that 28% of men and 53% of women reported work-family stress. It also affects their ability to concentrate on the job.[4] Research suggests that females worldwide rarely manage time to feel relax and are stressed and overworked most of the time. Women in developing countries feel even more stressed than women in developed countries. In India, 87% of women are stressed for time to manage work and family.[5]

A review study shows sex, education level, teaching experience, quality of life, anxiety, depression, and coping styles as the risk factors that can cause stress.[6] A study conducted among German general practitioners and practice assistants shows chronic stress was the highest in female general practitioners, followed by practice assistants and male general practitioners. High chronic stress was observed as the number of working hours per week increased.[7]

The factors that are related to job stress are age, education, marital status, children, hours worked per week, working shift, job insecurity, physical exertion, social support, hazard exposure, job perception, attitude toward employer, and union.[8]

 Methods



A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted among the working women of Pokhara Metropolitan. A stratified random sampling technique was used in the study. Data were collected using a self-administered structured questionnaire given to all 183 women from the selected public as well as the private organization which was adopted from the Job Stress Questionnaire. Effort Reward Imbalance Questionnaire (ERIQ) (the permission from the original author was taken). ERIQ is a 16 item effort-reward scale that was designed by Siegrist et al. in Germany to identify job-related stress using effort-reward scale.[9] The tool was translated into the Nepali language and back translation into English by an anonymous translator. This tool has been validated and used.

Ten percent of public and private organizations were selected for pretesting. Group of white-collar female workers was randomly selected from each organization, and all members from that group were selected for pretesting. All the working women from 20 to 40 years age group were selected as a study subject. Validity during the data entry was maintained by entering all the edited data into the Epi Data-version 3.2. This software minimized beyond the limit errors and in-between limit error was checked by random checking of 10% data. SPSS for Windows 20.0 [Computer software]. Chicago: IL: SPSS Inc; 2014, the standard statistical package was used for further analysis.

Descriptive statistics were reported for demographic, socioeconomic, and various environmental as well as the nature of job-related factors of the respondents. A Chi-square test was used to find out the association between the variables.

The study was conducted only after obtaining ethical approval from the Institutional Review Committee of Pokhara University, Nepal. Written permission to conduct the study was obtained from the District Administrative Office. Informed consent was obtained from respondents before the data collection. After the data analysis, most stressful females screened from the tool were notified to organization authorities, so that they can change their policy to make a pleasant working environment.

 Results



This study revealed that the prevalence of job stress was 47.5% by ERIQ at a mean score of 40.08 (standard deviation [SD] ±4.97). The age range of the participants was between 20 and 40 years, with a median age of 29 years. The majority of working women (61.2%) were from the age group of 20–30 years. The majority of the ethnic group was upper-caste groups (67.2%). The majority of the participants (94.0%) were living with their husbands. More than half of the participants (51.4%) belong to the nuclear family type. The majority of the participants (43.2%) and their husbands (44.3%) had completed a bachelor's degree. More than half of the women (79.8%) were below officers. Most of the participants were very rich (59.0%) of household wealth.

Almost all of the women (100%) had support from the family. The major proportion of women (84.2%) work 7 h or less in an office. The majority had a day shift at the office (90.7%). The majority of the women were not having any job-related problems within the past year (58.5%). More than half of the women were satisfied with the working environment (87.4%). The majority of the women (51.9%) had a full-time temporary job. The majority had an office-based working site (85.2%). Only (41.0%) had health-care benefits, among them, the majority (29.0%) had benefits only for an employee, whereas 12.0% had health-care benefits for family members also.

Out of 183 participants, 87 were found to be stressed with their job by ERIQ at a mean score of 40.08 (SD ± 4.97). Hence, the prevalence was found to be 47.5%. Among various sociodemographic factors, participant's age (χ2 = 4.209, df = 1, P = 0.040) and participant's family type (χ2 = 6.621, df = 1, P = 0.010) were significantly associated with job stress of working women. Similarly, among environmental factors and nature of job-related factors participant's health care benefit at the office (χ2 = 4.013, df = 1, P = 0.045) and provision of health care benefit (χ2 = 5.476, df = 1, P = 0.019) were significantly associated with job stress of working women [Table 1] and [Table 2].{Table 1}{Table 2}

Factors associated with job stress

In analyzing the dimensions of job stress among working women, the highest mean score of 17.65 with SD 2.46 is seen in Reward scale with a range of 9, followed by the over-commitment scale with a mean score of 15.31 with SD 2.46 and range 16, promotion scale with a mean score of 7.66 with SD 1.61 with a range of 12, and the least mean score of 4.52with SD 1.16 in security scale with a range of 6. In this research, the lowest possible value is in minimum range and the highest possible value is in maximum range, so all the range values obtained are regarding the range value from ERIQ scoring [Table 3].{Table 3}

 Discussion



The findings of the study revealed that the overall prevalence of job stress was found to be 47.5%. In Tanzania, the prevalence of stress was comparable with the present data.[10] However, in Delhi, the prevalence of stress among working women was higher compared to the present study, i.e., 64.6%.[11] It may be high because job competition is a more and more competent employee that can be there as the population is high in Delhi of India.

In this study, the participant's age was found to be associated with the occurrence of stress among working women. Similarly, job control was narrowed in younger workers compared with older ones among Australian workers.[12] This may be because a young age employee can give more effort and output to any organization.

This study shows a significant association between participant's family type and job stress. Supporting this result, a systematic review done among women in India shows care for elders and children in family along with official work causes stress and hinders professional development.[13] In our society, 20–40 years is considered as appropriate for marriage and child-bearing age. Females of this age group need to look after their family along with their work at the office. This situation causes more stress for females.

In this study, only two variables participant's age and family type were significantly associated with job stress of working women. Contradictory with this finding, Mukosulu et al. reported the association of stress with job demand, coworker support, depression, anxiety, focus, and venting of emotion and self-blame.[14] The variation in the variables may be due to the difference in population characteristics, the timing of assessment, and the assessment method.

This study shows no significant association between participant's educational status and job stress. Contradictory with this finding, a study conducted among women living in North-west Ethiopia shows the educational status of the participant was associated with job stress. The association of educational status might be due to the study setting, the tools used the time difference and the study population.[15]

The finding of this study reveals that there is no significant association between family support of participant and job stress. On the other hand, a study conducted in Netherland shows social support, including family support is especially important in reducing family-to-work conflict which reduces stress.[16] This variation may have occurred because, in this study, most of the participants had a nuclear family.

This study identifies no significant association between participant's duty hour and the occurrence of job stress. Similarly, a study conducted in Japan shows no significant association between job stress and working hours, it shows long work hours cause a wide range of risks to workers, families, employers, and the community.[17] Even though numerous physical and emotional changes occur in women during the long working period and lack of adequate care and support can lead to a higher level of stress and anxiety among working women.

This study identifies a significant association between the provision of health-care benefits and job stress. Supporting this result, a survey conducted by European working conditions in 28 countries showed a significant association between the provision of sickness benefits and the reduction of workplace stress which enhances mental health.[18] This may be because an individual's health and health-care benefits are equally preferred in society in the present context.

This study shows the participant's satisfaction with the working environment was not significantly associated with job stress. Contradictory with this finding, a study conducted in the Gambia shows the association found between environmental factors at work and work stress.[19] This variation in results may be due to the utilization of the working environment in this study in a less restrictive way.

This study shows a significant association of health-care benefit and it's a provision with job stress. However, low level of education, poor infrastructure, and poor social support was found to be associated with the occurrence of job stress among women in Brazil.[20] This variation may have occurred because, in this study, all of the participant's emphasis at present was on health.

 Conclusions



Nearly half of working women were suffering from job stress. Various factors such as participant's age, family type, health-care benefit at the office, and provision of health-care benefit were found to be significantly associated with the development of job stress for working women. Job stress has become a significant public health issue affecting working women and men worldwide. Limited studies have been conducted in this aspect of mental health in a country like Nepal. Further attention is to be given to this issue to gain a better understanding of job-related stress. The risk factors identified by this study are easily preventable in society with proper care, support, counseling, and education to women who are working. This research will also act as a baseline for conducting further research in similar settings and aspects.

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank all participants for their cooperation and support during the study. Sincere thank goes to Research Center of Pokhara University for research grants and confirming the ethical approval for this study.

Financial support and sponsorship

Research Center of Pokhara University provided research grants to the first author of this paper.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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