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This study examined effects of occupational stress on job performance of lecturers in College of Health Sciences, Awka. The study advanced four research questions and a null hypothesis for guide. A descriptive survey research design was adopted and a sample of 201 respondents out of 446 were used to elicit responses to a self-structured questionnaire. A mean statistical tool was used to analyse the research items and chi-square to test the stated hypothesis. The findings reveal that excessive work demands, overpopulation, project supervision and administrative behavior of departmental heads amongst others were causes of stress on lecturers. The resultants of these stress are ill-health, premature retirements, frustration amongst others. The study recommends among others that more lecturers be employed so as to reduce the ratio of students to a lecturer in the light of the workload, supervision and exam markings. Lecturers be given leave for at least a month.



  • Background to the Study

The world is in an era known as the information age, when almost everything is driven by the need to generate information or acquire knowledge. Colleges of Health belong to this knowledge sector, and are in fact one of the apex institutions in the knowledge sector. This makes it imperative for colleges to excel especially if the quest for information and knowledge must be serviced.

Given the dynamism of knowledge, and knowledge needs, current knowledge quickly becomes obsolete. There is constant need to update existing knowledge and also to acquire new ones. Consequently, new courses are constantly floated in colleges of education being the principal institutions charged with the responsibility of producing school teachers. Besides, Nigeria, a nation of over 201 million has a large youth population who view education in college as cheap and an easy ticket to a teaching job. Unfortunately, the rate at which teaching staff are recruited by colleges of health does not appear to measure up with the work load created by this voracious search for knowledge via college of education. The implication has been that of inadequate man power, and excess work load for those lecturers available which results to job-stress.

Stress has become an integral part of lecturing job. The demand of lecturing job has increased the level of stress among lecturers in Colleges of Health. An optional level of stress can be a source of positive motivation to succeed (Edward, 2019). However, too much stress can cause physical and mental health problems (Ubangari & Bako, 2018). The nation-wide strikes embarked by the ASSU in 2021 which last for over nine months is partly caused by stress related demands by the college lecturers termed “earned allowance” which includes over load allowance. Imeokparia and Ediagbonya (2017) opined that stress is the condition that results when person/environment transactions lead the individual to perceive a discrepancy, whether real or imagined between the demand of a situation and the resource of the person’s biological and social system. Similarly, Gunnar, Herrera and Hostinar (2019) conceptualize stress as a condition in which an individual experiences challenges to physical or emotional well-being that overwhelm their coping capacity.

According to Nnuro (2016), excessive and otherwise unmanageable demands and pressures can be caused by poor work design, poor management and unsatisfactory working conditions. Similarly, these things can result in employees not receiving sufficient support from others or not having enough control over their work and its pressures. Job-stress affects not only the employees’ but also the organizations in the monetary and non-monetary costs. These costs are used to recover the work and health related injuries. Monetary cost is used to recover the health of employees and lower productivity and absenteeism of employees’ is recovered by non-monetary costs (Syed, et al 2017).

 Concerning the causes of occupational stress most studies have pointed to the fact that the incidence of occupational stress is due to overwork (Laver, 2019). Graham (2018) stated that “poor management is the major cause of occupational stress”. Graham (2018) argued further that “occupational stress is not the inability to cope with excessive academic workloads and the unreasonable demands of incompetent and bullying superiors; occupational stress is a consequence of the employer’s failure to provide a safe system of work as required by regulation. Afolabi and Imhonde (2016) identified organizational causes of occupational stress as organizational and extra-organizational occupational stressor, group and individual occupational stressors. While Akinboye (2016) identified the following as causes of occupational stress in schools: new management technique, office policies, long work hours, redundancies, bullying, and harassment. The National Women’s Health Information Centre NWHI (2017) identified traumatic accident and death or emergency situation as causes of occupational stress. It can also be a side effect of a serious illness or disease. The center also associated occupational stress with daily life hassles, the workplace (education institution), and family responsibilities.

Occupational stress can have both positive and negative effects. Occupational stress is a normal, adaptive reaction to threat. It signals danger and prepares lecturers to take defensive action. Fear of things that pose realistic threats motivates workers to deal with them or avoid them. Occupational stress also motivates workers to achieve and fuels creativity. Although occupational stress may hinder performance on difficult tasks, moderate occupational stress seems to improve motivation and performance on less complex tasks. In personal relationships, occupational stress often leads to less cooperation and more aggression. James (2017) opined that, if not managed appropriately, occupational stress can lead to serious problems. Exposure to chronic occupational stress can contribute to both physical illnesses, such as heart disease, and mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders. Much of the occupational stress in lives results from having to deal with daily hassles like lectures, attending conferences, computing results, marking scripts, personal relationships, and everyday living circumstances. When taken individually, these hassles may feel like only minor irritants, but cumulatively, over time, they can cause significant occupational stress. The amount of exposure to stress lecturers have to face daily, is strongly related to their daily mood. Generally, the greater their exposure is to hassles, the worse is their mood. Studies have found that one’s exposure to daily hassles is actually more predictive of illness than is exposure to major life events (James, 2017).

It is in the above discussions that this study investigates impact of occupational stress on the job performance of lecturers in College of Health Sciences, Awka.

  • Statement of the Problem

In academic setting, job stress can cause unusual and dysfunctional behaviour at work and contribute to poor physical and mental health. In extreme cases, long-term stress or traumatic events at work, may lead to psychological problems conductive to psychiatric disorders resulting in the workers being unable to work again. Job-stress could affect College of Health Sciences, Awka by increasing absenteeism, decreasing commitment to work, increasing staff turn-over, impairing performance and productivity, increasing complaints from students, increasing mistakes and causing damage to the college‘s image among their academic workers. Academic-stress has positive value on organizational performance if it is not constant and not cumulative.

However, in College of Health Sciences, Awka, lecturers are exposed to a lot of academic activities such as lecturing, marking of scripts, exams supervision, computation of results, attendance of workshops and conferences among others. These academic activities are not distributed to a large amount of individuals which will be less stressful but only a few personnel are allowed to handle a large number of activities for a large crowd of students. No wonder, we have cases of lecturers slumping, unable to mark scripts as a result of large population, unable to write conference papers and a host of other issues arising from the effects of the stressful academic job.

These and others are what has interested the researcher and hence the need to carry out the study on effects of occupational stress on job performance of lecturers in College of Health Sciences, Awka with the aim of proffering possible solutions.

  • Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is the examine the effects of occupational stress on Job performance of lecturers in College of Health Sciences, Awka. Other specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To determine the causes of occupational stress among lecturers.
  2. To determine the effects of occupational stress on the health of lecturers in COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES Awka.
  3. To find out the effects of occupational stress on the job performance in terms of lecturing, marking of scripts, supervision of exams among others.
  4. To examine the strategies and measures that can be used in handling or managing occupational stress among lecturers of College of Health Sciences Awka.
    • Research Questions

The following research questions have been raised to serve as a guide to the researcher:

  1. What are the causes of occupational stress among lecturers?
  2. What are the effects of occupational stress on the health of lecturers in COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES Awka?
  3. What are the effects of occupational stress on the job performance in terms of lecturing, marking of scripts, supervision of exams among others?
  4. What are the strategies or measure that can be used in handling or managing occupational stress among lecturers of College of Health Sciences Awka?
    • Hypothesis

The following research hypothesis was postulated:

H0: There is no significant relationship between occupational stress and job performance of lecturers in College of Health Sciences, Awka.

  • Significance of the Study

The study when completed will be of benefit to the following; lecturers, government and future researchers.

The government will benefit from this study as they will come to understand the effect of occupational stress on the job performance of lecturers. Therefore, they will take measures which will help in curtailing this stress to the barest minimum be employing more hands, granting frequent holidays to lecturers and other health benefits that will keep the lecturers motivated and healthy.

The study will be of benefit to lecturers because all the recommendations given at the end of this work, if properly utilized, will be of benefit to them as it will mitigate their stress level.

When this study is finally, completed, it will be a reference material to future researchers who would want to research further into the topic at hand. It will also add to the already existing body of research available on lecturers and occupational stress. Other researchers will develop their researches on the gaps that this research will identify in the final report. Thus, they (other researchers) will build their researches on the recommendations of the research report.

  • Delimitation of the Study

The researcher is aware of other problem areas in College of Health Sciences, Awka such as students’ workload and their academic achievement among others. However, for the purpose of the present research, this study covers the effects of occupational stress on job performance of lecturers in College of Health Sciences, Awka. However, despite the fact that the study is limited to College of Health Sciences Awka, its findings could be generalized to other colleges of health in the state and country at large.

  • Operational Definition of Terms

Effects: a change produced by an action or a cause; a result or an outcome.

Stress: condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize. Stress is the mind and body’s reactions to everyday demands.

Lecturer: a person who gives lectures, especially at a college or university.

College of Health: an institution for higher education or professional training in health related matters.


  • Format: ms-word (doc)
  • Chapter 1 to 5
  • With abstract reference and questionnaire
  • Preview Table of contents, abstract and chapter 1 below

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