ectonucleotidase reduced significantly in persons experiencing stress with a relative variation in
mood disturbances. From a social-environmental outlook, relationship has been found between
job strain, defined as high psychological demands and lack of control and elevated ambulatory
blood pressure (Schnall, Schwartz, Landsbergis, Warren, & Pickering, 1992). The studies related
to gender differences in stress and strain have revealed that women experience more
psychological stress and strain than men (Hall, Chipperfield, Perry, Ruthing, & Goetz, 2006;
Regarding coping strategies there are variations among individuals to deal with stress.
Arousal and influence of stress depend on how different individuals evaluate and cope with the
situation regarding personal resources (Lazarus, 1966). The personal resources may be positive
thinking, resilience, optimism and extraversion. McGrath, Jordens, Montgomery, Kerridge
(2006) claimed that positive thinking enables the ill person to cope better with illness.
Researchers have further found that positive thinkers tend to recall health related information
more than the negative thinkers (Aspinwall, 1998; Aspinwall & Brunhart, 1996) and they engage
in humor and positive reframing while dealing with dire situations (Carver et al., 1993).
While studying negative affects (NA) and positive affects (PA) on coping, previous
studies have revealed that individuals having negative attitudes show avoidant behavior (Bolger
& Zukerman, 1995; Bouchard, 2003). Other researches (Gunthert et al., 1999) have reported
positive association between stress and negative thinking. Negative affect also correlates
positively with the implementation of emotion focused coping and negatively with problem
focused coping (Cosway et al, 2000; Endler & Parker, 1994; Mcwilliam, Cox, & Enns, 2003).
There are gender differences in coping. Men tend to be more likely to engage in effective
coping that alters a situation than women (Folkman & Lazarus, 1980). Women implemented
emotion focused coping techniques more than men (Eaton and Bradley, 2008).
Gender differences are huge in our society (Noreen & Khalid). Women were regarded
sacred and enjoyed respectable place in primitive societies because of their ability to reproduce
human race till the time men realized their role to impregnate women. Male role as bread winner
in hunter-gatherer societies laid the foundations of male dominant patriarchal societies (Goel,
2004). Till twentieth century authority was more or less exclusively the right of men in many
parts of the world. Ahmed (1992) argued that all the decisions about family were the right of the
family head, who was usually male, in traditional societies of Asia and Africa.
Theories give different explanations for gender differences. Social cognitive theory says
that the children’s gender development occurs through observing and imitating what other people
say and do and through being rewarded and punished for gender appropriate and gender in-
appropriate behavior (Bussy & Bundra, 1999). Social role theory says that gender differences
result from the contrasting roles of women and men (Eagly, 2000; 2001). From birth onward,
gender roles are rewarded. Culture, school, media and other family members also provide gender
role models (Smith,
2007). Parents by action and by example, influence their children’s gender
development (Bronstein, 2006).
The role of gender in stress appraisal is evident from the researches that revealed stress
varies with gender (Bolger & Zukerman, 1995; McDonoigh & Walters, 2001; Lindiwe, Asner-
Self, Kimberly, Schreiber, 2005). In the patriarchal societies such as Pakistan, "sons are
perceived to have economic, social or religious utility; daughters are often felt to be an economic
liability (Fikree & Pasha 2003). Women are usually not included in making decisions and are
considered socially and economically dependent on men (Fikree, Pasha, 2004; Jejeebhoy, Sathar,
2001). Females consider themselves insecure, incomplete, ineffective and inefficient without
males (Niaz, 2003). These circumstances make females more prone to stress. One reason of
high stress in females is the discrimination women face due to the cultural and religious norms
that Pakistani society embraces (Bettencourt, 2000). Females face family stress more as
compared to males (Esping, Gallie, Hemerijck and Myles, 2002). Society continues to expect
that women will take responsibility of the majority of child care and work in the home (Long &
With the passage of time and increase of educatio
n women’s status in the society
changing. It is indicated (Govt. of Pakistan, 2007) that opportunities for employment are
increasing based upon increasing education skills among women. Women have started to enter in
Armed Forces, electronics, textile, medical specialists, banking and financial experts and their
visibility in professions and blue-collar occupations such as paramedics, teachers and police is
mostly due to their improved levels of education. Although these opportunities are raising the
status of women in the society but at the same time they are getting overburdened due to multiple
roles. On the one hand they are getting professional and career oriented on the other hand they
are expected to serve perfectly to their husbands and in-laws.The need is to conduct research on
daily stressors related with work and family, child care, marital functioning, and how positive
thinking help to cope and balance multiple work/nonwork roles in males and females.
Based on the above theories and researches the hypotheses mentioned in the first chapter
have been restated in this chapter. These hypotheses have also been formulated in the light of
Daily Stressor Scale developed by the researcher.
Following hypothesis based on literature were empirically tested in the present study:
1) There is a significant negative relationship between optimism and Daily Stressors Scale and
2) Optimism is positively related with problem focused coping and negatively related with
avoidance and emotion focused coping.
3) Optimism is positively related with GHQ and its subscales.
4) There is a significant relationship between daily stressors and general health.
5) There are gender differences in optimism.
6) There are gender differences in the perception of daily stressors on DSS.
6a) Females score high on the family and personal stressors of DSS as compared to males.
6b) there is significant mean difference between males and females on the environmental
stressors of DSS.
6c) Females perceive work stressors more as compared to males, whereas males perceive
professional stressors more.
7) There is a significant mean difference between males and females on the scores of GHQ and
8) There are gender differences in coping.
8a) Males tend to choose problem focused coping strategies more often than emotion focused
coping strategies, whereas females tend to choose emotion focused and avoidance focused
9) There are significant mean differences on DSS among the participants regarding their
10) Participants belonging to different campuses of UE score differently on DSS.
11) Optimism predicts daily stress negatively and psychological health positively.
12) Optimism predicts problem focused coping positively and avoidance coping and emotion
focused coping negatively.
In this section, the researcher has described the population of the study, the selection of
the sample, tools used for data collection and statistical methods to interpret data. Positive
thinking was measured through Life Orientation Test Revised. Stress was measured by the
Daily Stress Scale (DSS) developed in the Study 1. This section analyzed the relationship
among study variables and further probed the impact of positive thinking on daily stressors and
The population of the study was the faculty of University of Education, Lahore (UE). UE has 10
campuses in different areas of Punjab, within campuses are three divisions. UE has three
campuses in Lahore (Bank Road Campus, Lower Mall campus and Township campus). The
other campuses are in the cities of Attock, Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Jauharabad, Multan,
Okara and Vehari.The entire faculty of the UE which consisted of 281 members (Male=114,
Female=167) constituted the population of the study. A sampling frame has been attached (See,
annexure G). The population of 10 campuses and three divisions was divided into four strata i.e.
lecturers, assistant professors, associate professors and full professors. There were 187 lecturers
(male=68, female=119), 67 assistant professors (male=29, female=38), 20 associate professors
(male=10, female=10) and 7 full professors (male=7, female=0) in the University of Education,
Researcher chose sample from UE because it was newly established university
and faculty was experiencing stress due to burdens of multi-tasks such as research work, further
studies, new projects and time pressures. UE was established in 10 September 2002, by
upgrading different education colleges, by the Government of Punjab. It was declared as a centre
of excellence for teacher’s training and
research. It aimed at preparing dynamic teachers and
leaders in education, research and management having excellence qualities, skills, commitment
and involvement to ensure quality in all sectors of education. The problem aroused when these
teachers were asked to implement new techniques and methods for raising the quality of
education and come up to the standard of a university. The faculty had been teaching at college
level and was unaware of the university culture and research techniques necessary at university
The rationale behind choosing a sample of university teachers was that they were facing
hard circumstances due to working in a newly established university which was continuously
striving to get some position among high universities. University was trying to improve the
quality of education by increasing the quality of its faculty, infrastructure, research and strategic
planning procedures. There was an intense pressure on teachers to modify curriculum,
incorporate new delivery methods, make appropriate use of technology and enhance the quality
of assessment and research. University was recruiting new faculty who was more educated and
aware of the technological advances. This created a rift between the seniors/government and the
juniors/ new university employees. Senior government teachers working under university were
overstressed due to the emerging trends in education and were unable to cope with the challenges
of technological advances in teaching-learning situations. Females were more prone to stress as
compared to the males because they adopted this profession as they perceived it less time
consuming. Female teachers face additional stressors due to the religious and cultural norms.
Females have a second position in our culture. In Islam, males have been given an upper status
because they are the breadwinners, provider for their families and responsible for family matters.
So the females have to submit to males. For example, females have to live in joint family system
forcefully, do all home chores and take care of children and elderly. Working women bear
double responsibilities and usually face home-work conflict. Some times male
underemployment, forces females to work in order to support household expenditures on rent,
food, clothing and the education of their children. If she fails to come up to the expectations of
the male members, she becomes the victim of domestic violence. Researcher wanted to know
whether there were gender differences in the appraisal of stressors and coping strategies in
university teachers. Whether positive thinking can lessen the stressors and affect the health of
With this rationale, a random sample was selected from each strata of the sampling frame
of University of Education. Sixty five percent of the population was taken as a sample for the
study as the population was heterogeneous, belonging to different cities of Punjab (See annexure
I). The sample was selected randomly from each stratum. It consisted of 123 lecturers (male=44,
female=78), 44 assistant professors (male=19, female=25), 12 associate professors (male=6,
female=7) and 3 full Professors (male=3, female=0) from all campuses and divisions of UE.
Hence, the sample comprised of 182 (65 %) faculty members on the whole.
The criteria for the selection of the sample consisted of following measures:
Male and female teachers from government sector who were working under the UE
administration were included in the study
Male and female university employees recruited by the University of Education were
selected as the sample of the study.
Male and female faculty teaching on regular basis was included in the study
Male and female faculty teaching on contract basis was included in the study.
Those who were teaching in the evening programs at UE were excluded from the study.
Teachers having less than one year experiences were also excluded from
Visiting professors were not included in the sample.
Table No. 4.1 is showing the number and percentage of participants of each campus.
Frequency Distribution of Participants by Campuses and Designation
Lec Asst. Prof. Asso.Prof.
65 % sample was selected from each stratum. Lech = Lecturer, Asst. Prof. = Assistant professor, Asso. Prof.
=Associated professor, Prof.= Professor, Bank R = Bank Road, DGK= Dera Ghazi Khan.
Table 4.1 shows list of 10 campuses selected for study. Eight faculty members from Attock, 32
from Bank Road, 14 from DG Khan, 19 from Faisalabad, 15 from Johar-abad, 10 from Lower
mall, 27 from Multan, 24 from Okara, 17 from Township and 16 from Vehari campuses were
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