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Title:Understanding the relationship between stress and health risk for women administrators in higher education
Author(s):Kersh, Renique
Director of Research:Alston, Reginald J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Alston, Reginald J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Berkel, LaVerne; Baber, Lorenzo D.; Graber, Kim C.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Discipline:Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):stress
coping
women administrators
women in leadership
women's health
Abstract:For years researchers have studied the impact of stress on health (McEwen, 2008; DeLongis, Folkman and Lazarus, 1988). Some have found that stress can be a precursor to a number of psychological and physiological health conditions (Osipow, Doty and Spokane, 1985; Wamala, et. al, 2000; Kivimaki, et. al, 2013; Virtanen, et. al, 2000; Choi, et. al, 2011; Winefield, et. al, 2002; DeLongis, Folkman and Lazarus, 1988). For women, biological factors like estrogen levels provide protection against the harmful impacts of stress. As women age however the body’s protection mechanism becomes compromised and the ability to fight off the physiological and physiological effects of stress may also become compromised (Theede, et. al, 2007; Saleh and Connell, 2003; Cohen and Janicki-Deverts, 2012). These findings suggest that how women manage stress has important implications for long term health (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012; Sorenson and Verbrugge, 1987; Curtis, 2011; Barnett, 1982). Higher education institutions provide a unique laboratory for exploring stress as women make-up just over half of those in administrative and executive level positions (NCES, 2010). This study explored the relationship between stress and health risk for women in administrative roles in higher education. Information was collected from 192 participants via a survey, as well as through open-ended response questions. Results showed a significant relationship between stress and mental health outcomes and suggest that coping is moderately responsible for the variance between the two. Further results suggest that women tend to employ ineffective coping strategies when dealing with stress over a period of time whereas results from open-ended response questions suggest that participants utilized effective strategies when dealing with daily stressors at work.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/50502
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Renique Kersh
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08


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