Social Work Stress Literature Review

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Stress. Stress, a complex phenomenon involving the process of interaction between individual and the environment (Cox et al., 2000), is conceptualized as the response to an inappropriate level of pressure or environmental threat rather than the pressure itself (Arroba & James, 1987, p. 21; Ogden, 2007). Along with high level of stress, psychological, biochemical, behavioral and physiological symptoms may occur, which may lead to an increase in dissatisfaction, anxiety, psychological and physical deterioration (Cox et al., 2000). For example, the body’s immune system’s capability of preventing from illness is considered to be affected by neurological and hormonal changes (McEwen, 2006). Moreover, occupational stress has been directly related …show more content…

For social work students, professional education and training, which combine both academic and professional requirements, may evoke higher level of pressure than ‘traditional’ academic programs (Dziegliewski et al., 2004). On the other hand, as cultural differences may give rise to clashes in their expectations, oversea students must need more time and energy for greater adjustments and adaptation (Akgun & Ciarrochi, 2003). Perceived stress can exaggerate along with lack of the necessary language skills which enable oversea students to study competently in a new language (Orepeza et al. …show more content…

According to the research, physical and psychological symptoms were reported at higher levels in relation to academic work and class standing rather than in relation to field placement. Besides, gender and marital status were unrelated to stress (Munson, 1984). However, the study conducted by Ying and Han (2009) indicated that for most year-one master of social work (MSW) students, their main stressor was client-related. Also, Collins, Coffey and Morris (2011) has constructed a postal questionnaire, which appears to be the first study in Britain to focus on stress, support and well-being in social work students. The study indicates no statistically significant difference were found related to factors like gender, age, year of study and family commitment. However, students with part-time work were subject to significantly more work load than others. The survey done by Stanley and Bhuvaneswari (2016) with 73 female undergraduate social work students reported that freshman and senior who is about to graduate experienced higher level of pressure, based on the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), which is contradictory with the result of study undertaken by Collins, Coffey and Morris

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