Stressors and coping strategies among working mothers in a Nigerian university
Implications for social work practice
Keywords:coping strategies, competing responsibilities, professional obligations, working mothers, work stress
Despite a recent significant increase in the number of working women, the difficulties they face have become a serious social concern. This cross-sectional survey study investigated the causes of stress among working mothers and the coping strategies they employ. Participants included 604 UNN working mothers (596 for the questionnaire study and 8 for the IDI). Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), with frequency, and percentages. Findings revealed that 77.0 % of respondents identified that working mothers' competing responsibilities include an inability to cope with professional obligations, time management, maintaining relationships, and making ends meet. The majority of respondents strongly agreed that taking breaks and vacations, social support, and having fewer children (71.5%, 64.6%, and 71.1%, respectively) were helpful strategies for working mothers to alleviate their stress experiences. The study concludes that identifying the stressors that working mothers face is critical in reducing stress and ensuring work-life balance and it recommends that occupational social workers should be employed by organizations so that they can help educate mothers on helpful coping strategies.