The present study reports the level of family environment of undergraduate women teachers in Mysore city. A total of 264 women teachers working as permanent and temporary basis belonging to different age groups were randomly selected for the study. They were administered family environment scale, consisting of 90 items measuring family environment in 10 dimensions. The family environment was measured in following dimensions-cohesion, expressiveness, conflict, independence, achievement orientation, intellectual orientation, active recreational, moral religious emphasis, organization and control. The data were subjected to t test and one-way ANOVA to find out the influence of job nature and age. Results revealed that those who were working on permanent basis had significantly higher cohesion, conflict, organization and control compared to those teachers who were working on a temporary basis. Age-wise comparisons revealed that at least in 5 dimensions-cohesion, conflict, intellectual orientation, organization and control age had a direct influence, as the age increased the mean scores in the above 5 dimensions increased more or less linearly and significantly. Further, improving family environment and they by increasing overall quality of life of women teachers have been discussed.
Key words: Women teachers, family environment
Teaching is of the one of the noblest profession on earth. Teaching is a highly noble profession; most suited one especially for women. Teachers are always a boon to society. Teachers are the pillars of society for they educate and mould the future citizens of a country. Teaching is a revered profession in India also. Through their intelligence, patience and wisdom, they attempt to not only hone the learner’s intellect and aptitude but also, create a well rounded personality. Teaching has an influence in developing ones mind and character and also gives the satisfaction of having the clouds of ignorance. As this field is so vast having areas of specialization, different skills and types of training are required for different levels. A secure career, great monetary compensation and annual vacations are enticing hordes of promising young men and women to join this teaching profession. Teaching requires, apart from the requisite education and degree, a flair for interacting with the students and capability of explaining things in clear lucid terms to the students. Rousing the students from their apathetical slumber and watching their interest grow in studies is the greatest reward for a teacher. Teachers not only augment a students intellect but also contribute to the well rounded development of his or her personality.
The uniqueness of a female teacher is that she has to attend house hold chores as well as the teaching assignment. Hence, the stress experienced by them will generally more than their counterparts. Further, a teacher at college level has to devote more time for preparation of classes and later delivering the teaching assignment in an effective manner. For that the teacher has to devote some of their time even at home for her academic work. In course of this she may not be able to take care of the family issues as effectively as a women who perform exclusively the role of a home maker.
In the back drop of the above it would be of high importance and relevant from the point of view of social work profession to understand the family atmosphere of female teacher which may be either related directly or indirectly by them in discharging their duties as an effective teacher. Hence, a study to explore the above areas is important.
Research in this area indicated that many teachers attributed high importance to both roles and had higher Work →Family than Family →Work conflict. Relations between teacher stress and support variables and work-family conflict diverged from patterns found in other occupations. School level and teacher experience contributed to explaining the conflict (Cinamon, & Rich, (2005). Balancing faculty careers and family work investigated by Schultz, (2007) among Tenure-track women faulty members and found that how women's experiences with balancing work and family in higher education relate to elements of job satisfaction. Specifically, the less comfortable women faculty caretakers are with family talk at work in general, the less satisfied they are with their role as faculty member overall, the less satisfied they are institutional support to balance work and family, and the less satisfied they are with job security and potential for promotion. Women faculty believe their experiences with balancing work and family in higher education represent the minority of women faculty experiences, when in reality, their experiences are actually representative of the majority of self-reported women's experiences with balancing work and family. Further, using our understanding of families to strengthen family involvement investigated by Knopf, & Swick, (2008) and they describe the changing landscape of parenting and the stressors experienced by contemporary families.
It is evident studied reviewed above are more of western, and we hardly come across study on Indian women teachers from the social point perspective. Hence, the present study is aimed at assessing the family adjustment of female college teachers. Further the study is also aimed at suggesting measures to improve the quality of life of female teachers.
Sample: Under Graduate women teachers of Mysore city were selected for the present study. Stratified Random Sampling was adopted to gather data; a total of 264 Under-graduate women teachers in Mysore City participated in the study.
Tool employed : Family Environment Scale (FES) Moos & Moos(1976): The FES consists 90 true/false items that fall into ten subscales, each of which measures the emphasis on one dimension of family climate. The cohesion, expressiveness and conflict subscales assess relationship dimensions. These subscales assess the extent to which family members feel that they belong to and are proud of their family, the extent to which there is open expression within the family, and the degree to which there is open expression within the family and the degree to which conflictual interactions are characteristics of the family. The second group of subscales assesses personal development or personal growth dimensions. They measure the emphasis within the family on certain developmental process that me be fostered by family living. Independence measures the emphasis on autonomy and family members doing things on their own. Achievement orientation measures the amount of emphasis on academic and competitive concerns. Intellectual cultural orientation reflects the degree to which the family is concerned with a variety of intellectual and cultural activities. The active recreational orientation and moral religion emphasis sub scales measure other important dimensions of personal growth. The last two sub scales of organization and control measure system maintenance dimension. These dimensions are system oriented in that they obtain information about the structure of organization within the family and about the degree of control usually exerted by family member’s vis-à-vis each other. The ten sub scales have adequate internal consistency (ranging from 64 to 79) show good eight week, test re-test reliability (ranging from 68 to 86) and show average sub scale inter correlations around 20 indicating that they measure distinct, though somewhat related aspects of family social environments.
Procedure: The questionnaire was given to each participant, who was requested to fill up and to return the same in two days. They were also briefed about the purpose of the study and their informed consent was obtained. It was made sure that they would read each question carefully and answer later, rather than stereotyped answering. Later, the answers were scrutinized, and incomplete questionnaires were rejected. Scoring was done according to the manual provided.
Scoring and Analysis: The scale consists of 90 true-false questions. Each sub-scale consist of 9 items that do not overlap with any other scale, with approximately half of the items written to score a `true’ response and half a `false’ response. The items which elicit information pertaining to the negative aspect of the family are assigned a score of zero, whereas the items which obtain information pertaining to the positive aspects of the family are assigned a score one which indicates better environment in the family. A higher score on the scale denotes healthy environment. Once the scores were graded into levels, ‘t’ test and one way ANOVA are employed using SPSS Windows to see the family environment of women teachers. Table 1-3 present the results.
Results: Descriptive statistics for the subscales of Family Environment scale of the total sample selected
The selected sample had a mean family environment score 3-6 with the standard deviation value 1.47, 1.44, 1.52 and 1.49 respectively in expressiveness, independence, active recreational and control falls under healthy family environment as prescribed by the manual.
Mean family environment score 6-9 with the standard deviation 1.51, 1.58,1.32, 1.57, 1.58.and 1.52 respectively in cohesion, conflict, achievement orientation, intellectual cultural orientation, moral religious emphasis and organization falls under very healthy family environment as prescribed by the manual; hence the selected sample had healthy and very healthy family environment.
Mean scores on various components of family environment and results of Independent samples ‘t’ test
As far as the influence of employment status on family environment is considered, employment status had significant influence over FES components –cohesion, conflict, organization and control. In all these components women teachers in permanent position had significantly higher scores than women teachers in temporary positions. Independent samples t test revealed a significant differences for these 4 components (alpha=.05). However, in other components expression, independence, achievement, intellectual cultural orientation, active recreational, and in moral religious emphasis, teachers in permanent and temporary positions did not differ significantly as the observed ‘t’ values failed to reach significance level criterion.
Mean scores on various components of family environment of women teachers in different age groups and results of one-way ANOVA
Age of the working teachers had significant influence over few of the components of FES like cohesion, conflict, independence, intellectual cultural orientation, organization and control. In all these components a general observation was lower age groups had lower scores and higher age groups has higher scores on these components. This was confirmed by one-way Analysis of variance test. In other words age had a direct relationship where as the age increased scores on the above mentioned components increased more or less linearly. However, for remaining components –expression, achievement, active recreational, and moral components as the F value obtained for these variables failed to reach significance level criterion.
Main findings of the study
Work-family researchers have distinguished between work-family conflict (work interfering with family) and family-work conflict (family interfering with work). Different types of spillover have been identified across the work and family domains: (a) negative spillover from work to family; (b) positive spillover from work to family; (c) negative spillover from family to work; and (d) positive spillover from family to work. Studies investigating the extent to which work and family stressors influence this dilemma have found significant, positive relationships between work stressors and work-family conflict, and between family stressors and family-work conflict. Examples of these stressors include work overload, time pressures, lack of emotional support, partner tension, and responsibility for child rearing. Generally self-report studies have shown that work interfered with family life more frequently than family life interfered with work.
The problems of working women are multidimensional and differ from woman to woman. Many studies have been done related to women and their mental health. A study by Bhati and Gunthey (1999) on working women, family environment and mental health indicated that there were significant differences in the family environment and mental health of working and non-working women. Mental health scores highlight that working women are trapped in a situation where they are getting difficulty in coping strategies to deal with it effectively and get mentally strained. Excess work, less freedom, high need for motivation and working situations are powerful source of stress among working female. Therefore, emotional balance, adjustment process, tolerance level and other personality attributes are under great threat, which affect negatively the mental health in turn affecting family environment. Overall assessment on middle aged teachers in Varanasi reveals that though the subjects are normal in general, but a substantial proportion is at risk of developing psychosocial stress generated problems that may affect their mental health. Modification in coping strategies and planned interventions are desirable (Singh & Singh, 2006). In the present study we find that women teachers had did not have any unhealthy component of family environment, which is quite contrary to the some of the studies done earlier.
When a woman starts working outside also she bears dual responsibility that requires double labour. In this situation, if she cannot discharge her duties equally efficiently, she feels tense and continuous tension creates stress that in turn may affect her family environment. With growing age, problems may also grow. However, in the present study age had significant positive influence over some of the components of family environment. When they reach middle age years some kinds of changes starts in them. Now, dual role responsibility may generate irritation, frustration, anxiety, depression etc. Further, temporary working teachers had less scores on some of the components of family environment, cohesion, conflict, organization and control. This is quite understandable in the sense that temporary job brings a kind of insecurity, present day selection processes; uncertainty over getting jobs, uncertainty over present job itself may reduce the family cohesion to some extent, which in turn bring down the family environment. There is a need to improve family environment by self and by the family members also. Programmed interventions like, meditation, relaxation and other sensitization programs may reduce stress and add quality of life to their years resulting in healthy family environment.
By Noor Mubasheer C. A. & Dr R. Shivappa
P G Dept. of social work, St. Philomena’s College, Mysore