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Stressors and coping strategies among working mothers in a Nigerian university: Implications for social work practice

Chikasie R. Ikpeama
Mary T. Olaitan
Christopher N. Ngwu


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. 

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eISSN: 1115-3946