Title

Matching social support and stress: An investigative study of female nursing faculty pursuing doctoral study

Date of Completion

January 1995

Keywords

Health Sciences, Education|Psychology, Social|Health Sciences, Nursing|Education, Higher

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Although the number of doctorally prepared nursing faculty is increasing, statistics indicate that the number of doctorally-prepared faculty will not be sufficient to meet increases in student enrollment. At a time when nursing education needs more doctorally prepared faculty, female nursing faculty may perceive that costs associated with doctoral study outweigh the benefits. The problem facing nursing faculty as students is how to reduce stress associated with returning to school for doctoral study.^ The purpose of this study was to determine: (a) if Life Domains were differentially associated with stress; and (b) if types/sources of social support and changes within Life Domains were differentially associated with stress. Cutrona and Russell's social support model provided the theoretical framework for this research study.^ The volunteer sample consisted of 111 female nursing faculty teaching in an academic setting while pursuing doctoral study. Subjects completed measures which assessed: changes and losses within Life Domains; types/sources of social support; and stress (negative affect and hassles).^ Hierarchical multiple regression analysis of the data indicated that the Life Domains were differentially associated with stress. The Life Domains (Role Change, Home Achievement, Family/Friends Relations, Money, Time, Work/School, Student Relations) accounted for 36% of the variance in negative affect. Three of the Life Domains (Home Achievement, Family/Friends Relations and Work/School) were associated with negative affect, while the Role Change Domain was associated with hassles.^ Hierarchical multiple regression analysis of the data indicated that types/sources of support and changes within Life Domains were associated with stress. Of the variance reported in negative affect: 15% was associated with matching Spousal Aid and Home Achievement; 16% was associated with matching Spousal Aid and Role Change; and 16% was associated with matching Friends Affect and Work/School. Increases in Spousal Aid support were associated with decreases in negative affect, yet increases in Friends Affect support were associated with increases in negative affect. Findings from this study supported a reconceptualization of the educational experience and creation of an adaptation model for female nursing faculty pursuing doctoral study. ^