Occupational stress of academic staff in South African higher education institutions
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The objectives in this study were to identify the indicators of occupational stress for academic staff in South African higher education institutions, to analyse the differences between the occupational stress of different demographic groups, and to investigate whether occupational stressors predict ill health and a lack of organisational commitment of academics in higher education institutions. A cross-sectional survey design was used (N = 595). An Organisational Stress Screening Tool (ASSET) and a biographical questionnaire were administered. Compared to the normative data, academics reported higher levels of stress relating to pay and benefits, overload and work-life balance. Analysis of variance revealed differences between the levels of occupational stress and ill health of demographic groups. Two stressors, namely, overload and work-life balance contributed significantly to ill health of academics. Four occupational stressors, overload, job control, resources and communication, and job characteristics contributed significantly to the commitment of academics to their institutions.