PSYCHO-SOCIAL FACTORS AS A DETERMINANT OF STRESS AMONG PUBLIC SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN ALIMOSHO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF LAGOS STATE
Background of the study
In today’s ultra-competitive environment, students face more stress be it related to studies, examination, peer, teachers or parent’s pressure. Stress is the ‘wear and tear’ our bodies experience as we adjust to our continually changing environment. On one hand, stress compels us to action. However, it can result in feelings of rejection, anger and depression leading to health problems such as headaches, upset stomach rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke (Shashank, 2011).
Although certain categories of stress are unpleasant. Others are pleasant adding a type of excitement to life especially when the stress condition is not much and it is perceived as a challenge rather than a threat. However, scientific researchers have always focused attention on the negative type aspect of stress because it is one that has more debilitating effect on both mental and physical wellbeing. According to Karmarudin (2009), stress is induced by some factors which are listed and explained as follows: physical factors, Health factors, Social factors, Financial factors, Academic factors, Emotional factors and Environmental factors
These factors consist of sickness, poor physique hearing or seeing abilities and physical handicapping condition. Some students find it difficult to learn under normal learning conditions. It is quite difficult and stressful learning in higher institution under normal academic calendar. Flora (2014) observed that stress is the body’s natural response to challenges. When as student experiences high levels of stress or chronic stress, regardless of his age or grade, it can interfere with his ability to learn, memorize and earn good grades as well lead to poor physical, emotional and mental health.
Also, students who don’t have healthy sleeping habits or don’t get enough sleep at night are more likely to feel stressed than students who get plenty of sleep; according to the National Sleep Foundation. According to Flora (2014), she stressed that sleep allows a student’s body and brain to recharge. It helps to keep the immune system strong. Inadequate amounts of sleep can make a child more aggressive and limit his ability to learn, concentrate and solve problems.
Furthermore, health-related factors which contribute to the academic performance of students. These factors comprise of amount of exercise, sleeping habits and nutritional routines (Kamarudin, 2009). Sleeping habits accounted for the largest amount of variance in the GPA of students. Sleepers are grouped into three categories which are: short sleepers, average sleepers and long sleepers. People who sleep fewer hours at night may have psychological maladjustment and this increases their anxiety and stress which has been associated with poorer academic performance (Kamarudin, 2009).
Kamarudin (2009) further reported that one aspect of the relationship between diet and academic performance concerns the consumption of a breakfast appears to predict high GPA and it seems to influence the recall ability and short term-term spatial memory. However, eating breakfast did not significantly affect performance after controlling for the effects of weekend and weekday wake-up times. Although the effects of eating breakfast and other nutritional variables on the academic performance of students.
A number of social factors that may contribute to stress among university students have been identified. They include lack of time and support from family and friends, family commitments, financial difficulties and problems with college roommates (Legault, 2006). The academic motivation given by a student’s roommate to the student has been shown to have a positive impact on the student’s achievement. Based on the review of literature, very little research has been conducted to ascertain whether problem with roommate is another factor contributing tio stress among university students (Kamarudin, 2009).
The results of prior studies suggest that financial burdens could be a potential stress factor for university students which contribute to low academic performance (Andrew & Wildiing, 2004; Kariv & Heiman, 2005; Misra & Castillo, 2004; Fatemi, 2007; Smith & Renk, 2007). Mohamed 2009) highlights that there are many students who have to work late at night and then do not have the time to study. This can be hazardous for students as worrying about their financial issues and grades can be an immense stressor in their academic life. Academic problems have been reported to be the most common source of stress for students Blumberg and Flaherty, (1985) cited in Mohamed,(2009). The most irritating daily hassles were usually school-related stressors such as constant pressure of studying, too little time, writing term papers, taking tests, plans and boring instructors. Among the stressors, test or exam anxiety is one of the causes of stress and most students seem to be more emotionally vulnerable to examination (Mohd, 2009).
Denise (2005) reported that the pressure students feel from parents and schools raises stress levels so high that some teachers regard student stress to be a ‘health epidemic.’ Jiandong (2012) describe the academic factor inducing stress as the most commonly reported reason for suicidal thinking; the occurrence of problems in peer relationship and the most predictive variable for depression. Emotional factors can result in irritability, depressed mood, anxiety, easily angered or frustrated, fatigue, loss of appetite or over reacting, problems with memory, muscle aches, headaches, upset stomach and rapid heartbeat (John & Emeritus, 2011). If stress lasts too long or happens too often, it can lead to more serious problems such as anxiety or depression and physical health problems such as heart disease and obesity (John et al, 2011).
Steve (2013), outlined the emotional factors of stress such as sleep disturbance (insomnia, sleeping fitfully), clenched jaw, grinding teeth, digestive upsets, lump in your throat, difficulty in swallowing, agitated behavior like twining your fingers, playing with your hair, increased heart rate, general restlessness, sense of muscle tension in your body or actual muscle twitching, non-cardiac chest pains, dizziness, light heartedness, hyperventilating, sweaty palms, nervousness, stumbling over words, high blood pressure, lack of energy and fatigue.
The school environment itself can be a cause of stress on students (Anna, 2014). Pollution, extremes of temperature, poor living conditions all contribute to stress. Noise itself is a source of environmental factor inducing stress. The stress response is triggered by noise over 85 decibels (a loud music, motor cycle, lawn mower, vacuum cleaner). Some of the environmental causes of stress are radiation, lightening, too hot or too cold, heavy metal toxicities, polluted air, inadequate water supply, severe storms, drought, famine, hurricane, earthquakes, floods or war (Simona, 2014). Stress is generally found among public teacher and students in secondary school. Stress is inevitable, students will always encounter it. Hence, the major sources of stress must be identified by potential researcher.
Statement of the problem
In secondary where the demands placed on teachers and students are based on deadlines and pressure for excelling in tests or examination, the students are likely to be the victims of stress. Teachers often emphasize the acquisition of knowledge, so they neglect the emotional feelings of students during the teaching process, which can cause emotional stress and learning problems for students. The instability of these emotions easily initiates unusual behavior, which then affects the learning achievements and adjustment ability of students in public secondary schools.
Curriculum and instruction form the basis for the academic activity. Each course has a minimum requirement of instruction hours of the specified curriculum. Hence, class work is an integral part of any academic endeavor because if forms the main body of the course. Students have to participate in the curriculum and instruction process by attending the regular class lectures and fulfill the class work requirements in the form of completion of assignments, reading and understanding the specific topics, complying with the minimum attendance requirements, completing the group tasks compulsory for assessment and so on. Naturally, such well-structured academic activity results in stress among a major portion of students.
The dynamic relationship between a person and the environment in stress perception and reaction is especially magnified in secondary schools. One of the stressor encountered by teachers is preparation of lesson note problems. Most of the teachers find it difficult to prepare lesson not as a result of the stress they pass through during schools hourse. Stress is inevitable, teachers will always encounter it. Hence, this research work is aimed at investigating the Psycho-social factors as a determinant of street among public senior secondary school teachers in alimosho local government area of lagos state
Purpose of the study
The main purpose of the study was to examine Psycho-social factors as a determinant of stress among public senior secondary school teachers in Alimosho local government area of Lagos state
Specifically, this study was set to determine the following:
- if physical factors will be a cause of stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- whether social factors will be a determinant of stress among stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- if financial factors will be a source of stress among stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- whether academic factors will be a cause of stress among stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- if emotional factors will be a source of stress among stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
Significance of the study
The fact and data that was collected in this research study will help public school teachers to identify the pycho-social factors as a determiant of stress aamong public secondary school teachers
The outcome of this research study will create data that will help in future research. The result of the study will assist the federal government and the ministry of Education on how to improve the conditions of the standard of living among teachers in order to employ efforts to reduce stress in secondary schools in Nigeria.
This study therefore was set to answers the following research questions.
- Will physical factors be a cause of stress among stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- Can social factors be a source of stress among stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- Can financial factors be a source of stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- Will academic factors be a source of stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- Will emotional factors be a source of stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
For the purpose of this study, the following null hypotheses were stated and tested.
- Physical factors will not significantly be a cause of stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- Social factors will not significantly be a source of stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- Financial factors will not significantly be a source of stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- Academic factors will not significantly be a source of stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
- Emotional factors will not significantly be a source of stress among public secondary schools teachers in Alimosho Local Government Area.
Scope of the study
This study was delimited to psycho-social factors as a determinant of stress among public secondary school teachers in Alimosho local government in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State. The study covers one hundred and twenty teachers in ten selected secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.